Native Plant Trust

Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird'

Hummingbird 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. 'Hummingbird' is a slightly shorter cultivar that spreads wider than it is tall.

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Height: 2-4 ft
Spread: 3-5 ft
Hardiness Zone: 4-9


Characteristics & Attributes

Cultivation Status
Cultivar
Exposure
Sun
Part Shade
Soil Moisture
Wet
Average
Dry
Ornamental Interest
Summer Bloom
Attracts Wildlife
Attracts Butterflies
Other Pollinators/Wildlife
Host Plant
Attracts Hummingbirds
Attracts Bees
Tolerance
Salt Tolerant
Drought Tolerant
Additional Attributes
Fragrant
Low Maintenance


North American Distribution


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