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Clethra barbinervis Sieb. & Zucc.

Modern name

Clethra barbinervis Siebold & Zucc.


C. canescens Hort.

A deciduous shrub or small tree 6 to 10 ft high in cultivation, more bushy and less erect than the American species; young shoots at first sprinkled with a minute starry down. Leaves often clustered at the end of the twig, oval or obovate, more tapering at the base than at the apex; 2 to 5 in. long, 1 to 214 in. wide; hairy at first on both sides, but especially so on the midrib and nerves beneath, toothed; stalk 14 to 34 in. long. Flowers white, 13 in. across, produced from July to September in rather compact, terminal panicles 4 to 6 in. long, covered with white, starry down; calyx and seed-vessel hairy; stamens glabrous. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 398.

Native of Japan; introduced in 1870. It is a very pretty shrub where it thrives, but it is not so hardy as C. alnifolia, although it will survive all but the severest winters near London. It is quite hardy in the Wild Garden at Wisley, where there are two specimens about 10 ft high which came through the winter of 1962-3 unharmed.



Other species in the genus