Friends of Myles Standish State Forest

East Head Reservoir Eco Tour



Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)

This is called sweet pepperbush because it smells so sweet and because the dried flowers,which it holds all year round, look like peppercorns. Sweet pepperbush has both male and female flowers on the same plant, but each matures at a different time to avoid self fertilization. It likes shorefronts can be found around Great East Lake among other places.

If it is in late July or early August you may be in luck. Sweet pepperbush flowers during this time and spreads a beautiful fragrance through the forest. The odor attracts bees and many other pollinators. The bees make a honey as delicious as the fragrance. The Clethra blossoms will be gone in a flash to be replaced by asters, goldenrods and other fall fragrances. But don't miss this one

In the image below notice that both new flowers and last years flowers (that look like peppercorns) can be seen on the same plant.

Sweet Pepper Bush

All line drawings by: Patricia J. Cassidy