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Summersweet, Sweet Pepper Bush 'Sixteen Candles'

Clethra alnifolia

Family: Clethraceae
Genus: Clethra (KLEE-thra) (Info)
Species: alnifolia (al-nee-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Sixteen Candles
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Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

By tip layering

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Douglas, Georgia

Social Circle, Georgia

Lake Forest, Illinois

Mc Dowell, Kentucky

Silver Spring, Maryland

Beverly, Massachusetts

Lexington, Massachusetts

Cary, North Carolina

Wilmington, North Carolina

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Roscoe, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Murchison, Texas

Midlothian, Virginia

South Boston, Virginia

Puyallup, Washington

Spokane, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 19, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This is a newer cultivar that is a dwarf form that gets about 3 feet high and at least 4 feet wide, and wider in time. It suckers some in well-drained moist soils and more so in constantly moist or draining wet soils. It has oftentimes replaced the older similar cultivar of 'Hummingbird' because 'Sixteen Candles' holds its end twigs and flower clusters stiffly upright while the former's end twigs and flower clusters droop. Its cold hardiness should be USDA Zone 5 down thru Zone 8.