summersweet clethra Clethraceae Clethra alnifolia L. Listen to the Latin symbol: CLAL3 Other Fact Sheets
Leaf: Alternate, simple, finely serrated margin, obovate, 2 to 3 1/2 inches long, glabrous, shiny dark green above, paler below.
Flower: Small white flowers occurring in dense clusters on long 3 to 6 inch terminal spikes, appearing in mid to late summer.
Fruit: Brown dry capsules, occurring in long clusters, persistent through the winter.
Twig: Slender and scruffy brown; buds with loose scales, the terminal is much larger than the laterals; leaf scar with one bundle scar.
Bark: Grayish, eventually separating into loose strips.
Form: Dense shrub up to 10 feet tall, often root suckers to form thickets.

Looks like: sweetspire - swamp doghobble - coast leucothoe - fetterbush lyonia
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information:
Clethra alnifolia is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting summersweet clethra.
More: Fall Color
External Links:
USDAFS Additional Silvics
USDA Plants Database
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Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson
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