Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Summersweet, Sweet Pepper Bush
Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird'

Family: Clethraceae
Genus: Clethra (KLEE-thra) (Info)
Species: alnifolia (al-nee-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Hummingbird

8 vendors have this plant for sale.

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
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:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive cedar18 On Mar 14, 2009, cedar18 from Lula, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I may regret putting this shrub in a perennial border since it suckers, but it has a nice form and I was sold on it after watching a hummingbird visit it. This plant did not do well for me in partial shade (poor soil, granted) but it has thrived in sun, adequate water and good soil.

Positive winging On Aug 6, 2006, winging from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Thrives in partial shade but as noted above, it can be late to leaf out. My mature plant is a bit sprawled, so I've supported it with a ring support. This improves the overall appearance of the plant. I otherwise pretty much leave this alone, except for random deadheading of the old bracts in the spring and summer by snapping them off when I happen to be near-by. White flowers lighten up shady areas.

Positive sanity101 On May 21, 2005, sanity101 from Dublin, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

It's very late to leaf out in the spring. Every year we think it's dead, but around mid-May it finally sends its leaves out and looks fine. That coupled with a somewhat leggy structure makes it more of a 'backyard' plant than something for the front walk, but it smells so wonderful, and holds its flowers for a long time. Does attract bees though. (plants referenced are in part-shade)

Positive kategw On Apr 9, 2003, kategw wrote:

Wonderful fragrance, longlasting flowers, good yellow fall foliage, neat winter structure with seed pods lasting all winter.


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

Lula, Georgia
Iowa City, Iowa
Northfield, Massachusetts
Redford, Michigan
Baldwinsville, New York
Davidson, North Carolina
Star, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Dublin, Ohio
Mogadore, Ohio
Norristown, Pennsylvania
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Old Hickory, Tennessee
Rockwood, Tennessee
Linden, Virginia
South Boston, Virginia
Vancouver, Washington
Ellsworth, Wisconsin

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