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The Plant Guide

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‘Ruby Spice’ summersweet

Clethra alnifolia 'Ruby Spice'

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This summersweet is a sport of C. alnifolia ‘Pink Spires’. Its fragrant, bottlebrush flowers are a darker pink; they attract butterflies, bees, and other insects in late summer and early fall. ‘Ruby Spice’ grows to about 4 to 6 feet tall and almost as wide, making this shrub suitable for a bed or border, a woodland or shade garden, or a waterside planting. Its yellow fall color extends the season of interest.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsFragrant flowers. Attracts butterflies. Tolerates full shade. The species is native to the eastern U.S.

CareProvide full sun to part shade and fertile, preferably acidic, medium to wet soil. Summersweet will tolerate clay soil and full shade.

PropagationTake greenwood cuttings in early summer.


  • Genus : Clethra
  • Zones : 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Plant Height : 3 to 6 feet
  • Plant Width : 3 to 6 feet
  • Bloom Time : Early Fall, Late Summer
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers, Showy Fall Foliage
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium to Wet
  • Flower Color : Pink
  • Uses : Shade
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest

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