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Clethra alnifolia

Object Details

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Smithsonian Gardens Display Collection
On Display
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Accession Number
2021-0673A
Description
This shrub is excellent for late summer blooms, and works well as either a stand-alone shrub or a hedge. It tolerates shade and clay soils, but prefers sandy soils that are kept consistently moist. One of its common names, “pepperbush” refers to the resemblance of the plant’s fruits to peppercorns – although they have no spiciness.
Hardiness
-40 - 30 F
Attracts
Butterflies to nectar
Bloom Time
July to August
Provenance
From a cultivated plant not of known wild origin
Topic
Display Gardens
Living Collections
Range
SE Canada to Texas
Habitat
Swampy woodlands, marshes, seashores; 0-656ft (0-200m)
Life Form
Deciduous shrub/sub-shrub
Bloom Characteristics
Narrow, upright panicles are 2-6" (5-15.25 cm) long with white flowers.
Fall Color
Yellow to brown
Foliage Characteristics
Alternate, simple, obovate to oblong, glossy, dark green leaves have serrated margines, and are 3-4" (7.6-10.2 cm) long.
Fragrance
Sweet
Fruit Characteristics
Seed capsules are brown and may persist into winter. .12" (.3 cm) across.
Plant Size
3-8' tall by 4-6' wide (.92-2.44 x 1.22-1.83 meters)
Structure
Rounded
Data Source
Smithsonian Gardens
Common Name
Coastal Sweet Pepperbush
Pink spire
Summersweet
Group
[vascular plants]
Class
Equisetopsida
Subclass
Magnoliidae
Superorder
Asteranae
Order
Ericales
Family
Clethraceae
Genus
Clethra
Species
alnifolia
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
GUID
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ax7b530e350-c3bd-4313-8b7a-b0f1613454ed
Record ID
ofeo-sg_2021-0673A
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