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.