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Clethra Sugartina® Crystalina
ENLARGE IMAGE Easy care and beautiful North American native!

Clethra Sugartina® Crystalina

Well-behaved native shrub with fragrant blooms!
ZONE 4,5,6,7,8,9
As low as $14.99
  • Summer flowers smell like vanilla or root beer
  • Glossy green foliage turns bright yellow in fall
  • Landscape-friendly dwarf habit
  • Deer resistant
  • Grows in full sun or part shade
  • Ship size: Starter Quart
  • View all TREES & SHRUBS
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Clethra Sugartina® Crystalina Description

Fragrance and fall color! Sugartina® ‘Crystalina’ summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) is a fantastic native shrub that gives you this and more. In mid-summer, it’s covered in white flower spikes – some people say they smell like vanilla, others say root beer…either way, it’s deliciously intoxicating on warm summer air. Glossy, dark green foliage turns brilliant yellow in fall.

Proven Winners ColorChoice shrubs selected Sugartina ‘Crystalina’ summersweet especially for its landscape-friendly dwarf habit: it reaches just 2.5-3’ tall and wide, compared to the 6’+ that other varieties can grow to. Summersweet is one of the best flowering shrubs for shade, which makes it a versatile plant for landscaping, wildlife gardens, flower gardens, and pollinator gardens (and does this thing ever attract pollinators!). It already sounds like a pretty great plant, right? Well, there are two  more qualities you’ll love: it’s very deer resistant and grows well in wet or poorly drained soils.

Special features: Deer resistant, Shade tolerant, Wet soil, Native, Attracts pollinators, Dwarf, Fragrant

Quick Facts

  • Botanical name: Clethra alnifolia 'Crystalina'
  • Common name:
    Summersweet, Clethra
  • Zone:
  • Sun exposure:
    Full sun (6+ hours) to part shade
  • Delivery:
    See schedule
  • Ship form:
    Starter quart
  • Soil type:
    Not fussy about soil; in nature, often grows in very wet areas.
  • Soil moisture:
    Moderate to wet
  • Height x width:
    2.5-3' tall and wide
  • Flower color:
  • Foliage color:
    Glossy green
  • Season of interest:
  • Uses:
    Specimen, Flower gardens, backdrop, Landscaping, Pollinator gardens, Wildlife gardens, Native plant gardens
  • Patent:USPP 21,561
  • Cannot ship to:
    AK, HI



Soil:  Though it can tolerate some dryness once established, summersweet does best in moist, even wet soils. Where it grows wild, it is often found alongside rivers and streams.  
Light: Full sun (6+ hrs/day) to part shade (4-6 hrs sun/day).
Water:  Moderate to wet
Space:  Min. 3' apart
Fertilizing:  Little fertilizer is needed.
Winterizing:  No special treatment is required. A 2-3" layer of shredded bark mulch is recommended.
Maintenance:  No special care is required. Trim as needed in early spring.