Garden Diary: Clethra Alnifolia

June 30 2014, 3:08pm

Our new summersweet. One of the newest additions to our backyard garden here at Carlton Hobbs is a native shrub called the Clethra alnifolia, also known as the summersweet or sweet pepperbush. As with most native species, the summersweet has very few insect or disease problems. They are a lovely low maintenance shrub which flourish in a range of soil and light conditions, making it perfect for our partially shady garden. Summersweet flowers © Sten Porse In the summer, the bush is covered with exceptionally fragrant white flowers, which are particularly attractive to bees and butterflies. Summersweet’s are in full bloom from late July through the month of August, providing gardens with ample flowers when many other shrubs are past their blooming season.  In the fall, the glossy green summer leaves turn a bright yellow, and the blossoms give way to dark brown seed capsules, whose appearance has been likened to peppercorns. A summersweet in the garden at Carlton Hobbs. Come the end of July, we hope our summersweet will be a regular hangout for the local bees and butterflies. Until then, Carolina is enjoying the late June sun and waiting patiently for the heavenly aroma of summersweet blossoms to fill the garden. Carolina.