Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Cinnamon Clethra, Mountain Pepperbush

Cinnamon Clethra, Mountain Pepperbush

Clethra acuminata

Full to part sun; medium to moderately dry moisture level; requires rocky soil; acidic pH.

8-15 feet height by 4-8 feet spread; blooms in summer; white flowers; fruits are brown capsules.

Growth Rate:  Slow to medium

Maintenance:  No serious disease or insect problems.  Often suckers.

Native Region:  Blue Ridge, Ridge and Valley and Cumberland Plateau provinces

This shrub’s most striking feature is its reddish brown, exfoliating bark which can be seen from a distance.  Flowers do not have the “wow factor” of C. alnifolia and have only a trace of the spicy perfume of C. alnifolia.  Becomes almost a small tree with age and looks best with an underplanting of woodland ferns and wildflowers.  Although will grow in full sun, does best in part shade.  Attracts bees.


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