Alphabetical Plant Listing

Clethra acuminata (Cinnamon Clethra)

Mountain Pepperbush, Mountain Sweet Pepperbush, Cinnamon Clethra


Noted for its showy cinnamon-colored bark and fragrant white flowers, Clethra acuminata (Cinnamon Clethra) is a small, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub or handsome small tree with an elegant tiered branching habit. In summer, it boasts a profusion of drooping racemes, 3-8 in. long (7-20 cm), packed with pleasantly fragrant, small white bell flowers. Rich in nectar, they are very attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators. They are followed by spikes of peppercorn-shaped seed capsules which persist through winter, providing continuing interest. Emerging in late spring, the rich glossy green foliage of alternate, simple leaves, 3-6 in. long (7-15 cm), warms up to bright golden-yellow in fall. The rich cinnamon-brown, exfoliating bark provides winter interest. Native to eastern North America, Cinnamon Clethra is a wonderful, trouble-free shrub with three seasons of interest that is perfect for moist, slightly acidic, well-drained soils. Excellent as a specimen plant or in small groupings, shrub borders, or the woodland understory.

  • Grows up to 8-20 ft. tall (240-600 cm) with a spread of 4-6 ft. (120-180 cm). Develops a suckering habit and tends to slowly form colonies.
  • A full sun to part shade lover, this plant is best grown in average, moist, slightly acidic, well-drained soils. Full shade is tolerated, though it flowers best with more sun.
  • Great for butterfly gardens, native gardens, for shade or woodland gardens .
  • This plant enjoys an excellent resistance to pests and diseases. However, keep an eye out for fungal dieback and root rot. Deer resistant.
  • Can be pruned to a tree form.
  • Propagate by seed or softwood cuttings, with or without hormone treatment, under mist.
  • Native to eastern North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 7
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Clethra
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 8' – 20' (240cm – 6m)
Spread 4' – 6' (120cm – 180cm)
Spacing 60" – 72" (150cm – 180cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Wendy Cutler, Flickr, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 7
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Clethra
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 8' – 20' (240cm – 6m)
Spread 4' – 6' (120cm – 180cm)
Spacing 60" – 72" (150cm – 180cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Clethra

Guides with Clethra

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