Click for previous Image Image 1 of 2 Clethra barbinervis Japanese Clethra

Clethra barbinervis

Japanese Clethra

Plant Type:


Clethra barbinervis - Japanese Clethra is a beautiful large shrub which can be pruned into tree form. Very sweetly fragrant pendant racemes of showy white summer flowers attract bees and butterflies. Handsome green leaves turn bronze to red in autumn. Smooth cinnamon colored bark exfoliates creating strong winter interest reminiscent of Stewartia monadelpha. My first encounter with remarkable Japanese Clethra was at Nick Nickou's gardens. The fragrance was the first quality I noticed before knowing which plant was emitting it. Its sweet perfume was transcendent. His specimen, pruned into a narrow, upright tree was in peak bloom - the showy flowers decorating the dark green foliage resplendently. His is still the most impressive specimen I have ever had the pleasure to view... and whiff. Site in full to half sun in fertile, moisture retentive soil. Cutting grown.


10-18 ft


8-12 ft


Item Description Price  
CLETBARB Clethra barbinervis (5 inch Square x 6 inch Tall - true 2 quarts / 1.8927 liters) $26.00

Characteristics and Attributes for Clethra barbinervis

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Summer / Late Summer

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Spring / Summer / Autumn

Interesting Bark

  • Smooth
  • Colored
  • Exfoliating

Autumn Interest

  • Autumn Leaf Color

Nature Attraction

  • Butterflies
  • Honey Bees & Native Bees
  • Deer Resistant


  • Full Sun
  • Mostly Sunny


  • Specimen
  • Shrub Border

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Medium


  • Fertile
  • Moist
  • Draining


  • Japan

Propagated By

  • Cutting Grown