Clethra: Sweet Pepper Bush
This month two spectacular shrubs have been producing a mass of creamy white frothy flowers with the added attraction of being scented. Walking past them the scent of pepper wafts into the air as these deciduous shrubs from China, Japan and South Korea make an amazing sight in July and August.
There are several species of Clethra but barbinervis and monstachya have grown to2 metres ( 8 feet) high after many years. A dwarf species is alnifolia which only reaches1.2 metres ( 4 feet) high and flowers in late August with upright spikes of white flowers but with the sweet pepper scent.
They all prefer an acid soil so not suitable for limy or chalk soil so ideal for South West gardens.