Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird' - Hummingbird Summer Sweet
Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird' - Hummingbird Summer Sweet

Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird' - Hummingbird Summer Sweet

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Butterfly FriendlyDeer ResistantRain GardenPart ShadeBird Friendly
Hummingbird Summer Sweet
Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird'

A beautiful, versatile, compact shrub, with three-season interest. Glossy, dark green foliage is not bothered by pests or disease. In late summer it is covered with 6-7” creamy white flowers with a deliciously, spicy scent. The flowers bloom for many weeks attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and native bees. The seed that follows is relished by songbirds and other wildlife. In autumn the foliage turns a lovely shade of yellow. It grows best in moist, slightly acid, sandy soil in sun to light shade, though it tolerates a range of conditions. Selected by Mr. Fred Galle formerly of Callaway Gardens in Georgia. Winner of the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society Gold Medal Award and the prestigious Georgia Gold Medal Award.


  • Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds enjoy the nectar
  • Many birds and mammals eat the fruit
  • Produces loads of fragrant, creamy white blooms in late summer
  • Bright, golden yellow fall color
  • Tolerates shade, acidic wet soil, and salt spray
  • Easy to grow, deer resistant

Native Range

Found in swamps, sea shores, stream banks and hillside bogs. 

Map Credit: The Biota of North America 
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)

Frogs are known as indicator species because they give scientists valuable insight into how an ecosystem is functioning. Plants that grow in moist conditions like this summer sweet provide great cover for frogs. Creating a pond or other water feature in your garden will help to attract them. 



 Easy to grow in medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Will grow in heavier shade but not as vigorously. Prefers part shade and consistently moist to wet, acidic soils but adapts to a wide range of soil, moisture and light conditions. Spreads slowly by rhizomes.


Mature Size: 4-6ft. Tall x 4-6ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

Coming Soon!

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