Clethra, beyond the cultivars

Clethra, beyond the cultivars

Early this week, we talked about some of the scented Clethra cultivars found here at the Scott Arboretum. In addition to cultivars of the species alnifolia, we have several other species of Clethra. A favorite of Rhoda Maurer, our Collection Documentation and Programs Manager, is C. barbinervis, Japanese clethra. These past couple of weeks she has been awash in intoxicating scent of C. barbinervis on her daily walk to work along Cedar Lane.

The numerous fragrant white flowers bloom along racemes from July to August. This species of Clethra grows taller than alnifolia, ranging from 10 to 20 feet tall. In the Cherry Border, C. barbinervis forms an attractive shrub border with eye-catching fall color of bronze to red.

Visit the Scott Arboretum offices to learn about all of the cultivars and species of Clethra and what they can offer your garden.

Becky Robert
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