A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Clethra acuminata Michx.

Modern name

Clethra acuminata Michx.

A deciduous shrub under cultivation, but assuming the form of a small tree 20 ft high in a wild state; young wood downy. Leaves clustered at the ends of the shoots, oval, with a long tapering apex, 3 to 6 in. long, the base rounded or shortly tapered, toothed on the terminal part; lower surface downy; stalk 14 to 114 in. long. Racemes 6 in. or more long, solitary, slender, cylindrical, terminal, hairy. Flowers white; petals 14 in. long, not spreading; sepals downy, ovate, ribbed; stamens hairy at base; flower-stalk 18 in. long, downy.

Native of the south-eastern United States, found on cliffs and mountain-sides; introduced in 1806. It is the least hardy of the American species, but may be grown in the south of England. From C. alnifolia and C. tomentosa it is distinguished by the leaves being nearly always broadest below the middle, and crowded at the end of the twig. The racemes, too, are mostly solitary.



Other species in the genus