Evergreen and deciduous small trees or shrubs, valuable on account of their showy spikes of fragrant white flowers which appear late in summer. The evergreen species (such as Clethra arborea) are noted for the laurel effect which their large, glossy leaves give. They thrive under our California conditions. Clethra arborea (a native of Madeira) is perhaps the finest of the species. Clethra quercifo) a does exceedingly well in the warmer sections of the state.

Propagate by seeds sown in early Spring in a cool greenhouse temperature (covering the seeds to the depth of an eighth of an inch), or by cuttings in sandy leaf-mold placed in a cold frame during September.

The Clethra flourishes in any fair garden soil.