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Easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers part shade and consistently moist, acidic soils. Tolerates full shade. Promptly remove root suckers unless naturalized look is desired.
‘Sixteen Candles’ is a summersweet cultivar that is noted for its erect, candle-like flower spikes and compact size. It is a densely-branched, rounded, suckering deciduous shrub that typically grows 3-5′ tall and features narrow, fluffy, bottlebrush-like, terminal spires (racemes to 6″ long) of extremely fragrant, creamy white flowers which bloom on the current year’s growth for approximately 4-6 weeks in mid-summer. Flower spires of the species may be erect, horizontal or arching, whereas those of this cultivar are, as the cultivar name suggests, more upright and candle-like. Toothed, ovate-oblong, glossy dark green leaves (to 4″ long) turn a variable but generally attractive yellow/golden brown in fall. Flowers give way to dark brown seed capsules which may persist well into winter. Flowers are very attractive to butterflies and bees. Somewhat unique among summer-flowering shrubs because of its ability to bloom in shady locations. Zones 4 to 9.