Plant of the Day – Clethra alnifolia ‘Sherry Sue’

Fragrant summer flowers in mid-summer give rise to the common name, summersweet.

Fragrant summer flowers in mid-summer give rise to the common name, summersweet.

Our native summersweet clethra is an outstanding flowering shrub for the home landscape.  The spikes of fragrant white flowers cover the plant in July when the sweet scent will waft along the warm breeze.  The selection ‘Sherry Sue’ adds brightly colored red stems which are especially showy in winter and early spring.  Fall color is an attractive gold most years.  Plant Clethra alnifolia ‘Sherry Sue’ is sun to shade in most soils.  It will tolerate occasional flooding making it ideal for rain gardens and damp spots.  It can form a suckering shrub over time.  Expect it to grow to about 5′ tall.

Follow me at @jcramark because life is too short for boring plants.

Red stems add to the appeal of this selection.

Red stems add to the appeal of this selection.

Check out all the happenings at http://www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum

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