In between rains this week, we were fortunate to see this native shrub in peak bloom! Bearing a fragrance of vanilla when flowering, this showy native shrub can be found attracting hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies in swamps and dry sandy woodlands throughout much of eastern North America and as far west as Texas. Also known as Poorman’s soap, the flowers create suds when crushed with water, and have been used as a soap supplement. In the fall, the fruits resemble a spike of peppercorns, hence the name pepperbush. Go native and consider using this shrub in your landscape! It even flowers well in shade!