Clethra alnifolia ‘Ruby Spice’ – Summersweet


A medium-sized shrub that blooms in mid-summer when little else is in flower. The light pink, spicy-sweet flowers open from a deep pink bud and are a pollinator favorite. Disease and pest free but avoid planting in dry soils. Spreads by underground stems to form a dense clump over time. Foliage turns a golden yellow in fall. In New York it’s found on the edges of acidic ponds, acidic sphagnum wetlands, and bog edges, mostly in the southern part of the state. In our area it’s common near the lakes in Minnewaska State Park, often in association with Swamp Azalea (Rhododendron viscosum), but is largely absent from the Catskills. Also known as Sweet Pepperbush.

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Updated 7 October 2021

Additional information

Pot Size

3-Gallon, 5-Gallon