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Hummingbird Summersweet

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Hummingbird Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia ‘Hummingbird’) -An intensely fragrant shrub with very floriferous spikes of white flowers in late summer when little else is in flower; neat, compact habit of growth and good fall color; needs moist acidic soil; some suckering

Characteristics

Average Landscape Height:
3 feet
Average Landscape Width:
4 feet
Growth Rate:
slow
Genus:
Clethra
Species:
alnifolia
Cultivar:
Hummingbird
Flower Color:
white
Flower Period:
from mid to late summer
Summer Foliage Color:
green
Fall Color:
harvest
Minimum Light:
partial shade
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Moisture:
average
Maximum Moisture:
wet
Plant Form:
round
Canopy:
closed
Pruning:
late winter pruning
Pollution Tolerance:
high
Other Species Names:
Sweet Pepperbush
Branching:
multi-stemmed
Flower Fragrance:
high

Ornamental Features

Hummingbird Summersweet has masses of beautiful spikes of fragrant white flowers rising above the foliage from mid to late summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. It has green deciduous foliage. The glossy round leaves turn an outstanding harvest gold in the fall.

Landscape Attributes

Hummingbird Summersweet is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

Planting & Growing

Hummingbird Summersweet will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species.

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