An August trip to the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary on Cape Cod means visiting the country cousins of some cultivated friends. Beach rose (Rosa rugosa) and sea lavender (actually a statice, Limonium vulgare) populate the edges of the salt marsh.
Along the pond bank, wild summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) blooms in scented profusion.
Above is the native version of the four domesticated "September Beauties" that I planted around my yard this past spring. Below is the single panicle that my new plants are sporting between them. Very nice. The cluster of domesticated blooms is tight and showy. I can't compare the smell between wild and tame--in part because my sense of scent is weak--but up close and sniffing deeply, both smell heavenly.