Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird')

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 2-4ft
Plant Spread: 3-5ft
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Deciduous
Other: Serrated, glossy, dark green leaves which turn a striking yellow in autumn.
Fruit: Showy
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Flower Color: Other: Creamy white
Flower Time: Other: July to August
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
Erosion control
Water gardens
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Butterflies
Pollinators: Bees

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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 30, 2017 8:26 PM

'Hummingbird' is a dwarf selection of the species that only gets about 3 feet high and grows wider. It does sucker a lot in wet or moist soils from rhizomes. Its leaves are only about 1 to 2.5 inches long and are relatively narrower than the mother species. The erect flower clusters get 6 to 7 inches long and bloom 4 to 6 weeks in mid-summer. This cultivar does droop over in its growth pattern. One nursery I worked at dropped this cultivar and replaced it with 'Sixteen Candles' because the latter does not droop over. One source recommended that 'Hummingbird' needs corrective pruning of removing suckers, removing older stems, and cutting the plant back about 1/3 in late May or early June. It is still sold by a good number of nurseries and garden centers. Longwood Gardens planted a huge mass of this plant in a low area of draining wet soil along a run of water that goes to the Pond Baldcypress group.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Salt tolerant plants by eclayne Feb 8, 2013 9:39 PM 130
Shrub Ideas needed for a garden shed. by toomanyanimals Apr 26, 2010 9:40 AM 5

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