Native Plant Trust

Clethra alnifolia 'Compacta'

Compact sweet-pepperbush

While the flowers look beautiful, the spicy, sweet scent of Clethra is its real draw for humans and a massive profusion of pollinating insects. Sweet pepper-bush is a widespread coastal and freshwater wetland plant, but it tolerates drought well once established, and its profusion of late summer blooms becomes a point of anticipation. Before the proliferation of lighthouses, many sailors knew this plant as "sailors' delight:" when the winds were right, they could often smell Clethra in bloom before they saw land. 'Compacta' is an aptly named cultivar that remains shorter than the species and doesn't form as broad a mass.

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Height: 3-4 ft
Spread: 3-4 ft
Hardiness Zone: 4-9


Characteristics & Attributes

Cultivation Status
Cultivar
Exposure
Sun
Part Shade
Soil Moisture
Average
Dry
Wet
Ecoregion
Not Ecotypic in New England
Ornamental Interest
Summer Bloom
Attracts Wildlife
Host Plant
Attracts Bees
Attracts Butterflies
Other Pollinators/Wildlife
Tolerance
Drought Tolerant
Salt Tolerant
Additional Attributes
Low Maintenance
Fragrant
Landscape Use
Hedge/screening
Rain Garden
Massing
Naturalize


North American Distribution


Compact sweet-pepperbush - Clethra alnifolia 'Compacta' from Native Plant Trust
by Dan Jaffe (c) Native Plant Trust
Compact sweet-pepperbush - Clethra alnifolia 'Compacta' from Native Plant Trust