Clethra barbinervis

Plant of the month: July

The Clethra barbinervis is a large semi-evergreen shrub with dark broad leaves that is native to Japan and China. Producing small bell-shaped white flowers on racemes, these flowers are highly scented, often attracting an array of different wildlife including bees, butterflies and moths.

To grow successfully you’ll need acidic soil that is quite free draining. It is best placed in a sheltered spot in partial shade or full sun, but it’s worth mentioning that this plant is hardy in most places in the UK. You’ll only need to prune after flowering to achieve desired shape and size.