Sweet Pepperbush will always impart to me a special feeling. Back in some of the earliest posts, I struggled to identify this species. It was my first experience with the difficulties of identifying species--bushes that I'd never given the slightest attention. Maybe this was their payback!
As the posts have rolled along, the ID blues have never left my side. Just yesterday I popped through with a couple of new IDs. There were days of work behind the breakthroughs. To me, it is a labor of love and I consider myself lucky to have stumbled upon such an endeavor.
So here we finally get to see flowers! They have been long coming--I have been shooting buds for weeks, always anticipating a quick blossom. This is a very patient bush.
From A Guide to the Wildflowers:
"One of the joys of the late season is the bursting into bloom of the clethra. Its delicate blossoms and the intense fragrance that it sheds about recall again the early spring days of timid flowers and soft green leaves which have later become sadly overheated or dusty beyond recognition. It seeks its home in shady lanes along the coast, where the air is moist, and which is undoubtedly the reason of its freshness so late in the season, and of the vigour of its dark green leaves. It remains in bloom a long time. When bruised the foliage emits a peculiar odour."
Lounsberry, Alice. A Guide to the Wildflowers. New Yor, 1899. 308. Web. Google Book Search. 23 Jul 2009.