Close-up of the namesake flowers of Clethra alnifolia 'Pink Spires'.
Pink flowers of Clethra alnifolia 'Pink Spires' with bumblebee.
Clethra alnifolia 'Pink Spires' grown in 1-gallon pots.

Clethra alnifolia 'Pink Spires' (Pink Summersweet) Unity Grown

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Clethra alnifolia 'Pink Spire', also called 'Pink Spire' summersweet or 'Pink Spire' sweet pepperbush, is a coastal wetland shrub native to the eastern United States. As for most summersweet, the real draw for 'Pink Spire' is the flowers, and this cultivar produces a profusion of fragrant pink-hued flower spikes that bloom from mid to late summer. Flowers are attractive to pollinators of all kinds, but especially butterflies and hummingbirds, and with their attractive pink shade, these blooms add further interest to the garden than pure white varieties; golden leaves in autumn add further multi-season interest.

'Pink Spire' summersweet is a standard sized Clethra variety, and grows to three to eight feet tall with a spread of four to six feet wide. Since most 'Pink Spires' are multi-stemmed, it is important to choose a large enough planting location, but this cultivar displays beautifully when planted in mass, when mixed into perennial borders, or when used in rain gardens or wetland restoration projects. Naturally found in coastal wetland areas or floodplains, Clethra alnifolia grows best in wetter areas with acidic, sandy soils and full sun exposure, but is not at all picky, and will tolerate drier soils as well as perpetually wet clay soils, and even those with some salt content.

Native to Eastern Shore, Native to Maryland, and Native to U.S.
Mature Plant Height: Very Tall: 73" and up
Sun (6+ hours) and Part Shade/Sun (4-6 hours of sun)
Soil Moisture: Medium to Wet
Soil Type: Acidic and Sand
Bloom Time: Summer
Flower Color: Pink
Foliage color: Green
Features: Attracts Butterflies, Attracts Pollinators, Attracts Hummingbirds, Host Plant for Butterflies or Moths, Erosion Control, Fragrant, and Fall Color
Tolerances: Deer Tolerant, Shade Tolerant, Clay Soil Tolerant, Wet Soil Tolerant, Flood Tolerant, and Salt Tolerant
Garden Type: Pollinator Garden, Woodland Garden, Wetland Restoration, Rain Garden, and Border/Screen

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