Pattern Play: Pepperbush

When summer comes to mind what do you think of? For some it may be the sound of the ocean at the beach, for others it could be the feeling of the sun shining on your skin, but for many, it’s the sweet smell of the pepperbush plant. Found blooming during the peak of summer, the pepperbush is an ornamental shrub with fragrant flowers. Also known as the summersweet plant, it is most often found in wetlands as borders or hedges and is favoured due to its low maintenence, attraction of pollinators, and beautiful variation in colour. With its blooming season fast approaching, we aim to depict this summer floral favourite through a distinctive pattern on our infamous Swim Trunk. 


Scientifically recognized as the Clethra, the pepperbush has had enriched gardens throughout the world for decades. With a wide range of species, each pepperbush features an abundance of blossoms that can vary from white, pink, yellow, orange, red, purple, and brown. The most popular variety called Clethra alnifolia–featured in our pepperbush pattern–is native to Nova Scotia, Maine, Florida, and even Texas. The plant continues to not only be used for consumption, but also for decorative purposes.

Present Day

In recent times, the pepperbush has played a significant role as a staple hedge and shrub in gardens and parks. Flowering from July to September and fruiting from September to October

While a sight to see during the hot days of summer, the colourful and flowering pepperbush has actually been labelled an endangered species in Canada since 2014. With its existence confined to a mere 6 lakes in Nova Scotia, the pepperbush’s habitat has been unfortunately overrun by the construction of cottages, thereby preventing it from growing to its fullest potential or even growing at all. Not only that, but the endangerment of the pepperbush has also impacted the functions of bees and other pollinators that depend on it to get nectar. Bees play a vital role in maintaining the diversity of entire ecosystems through their unique relationship with flowering plants. As a result, if the pepperbush were to go extinct, it would definitely be disastrous for the ecosystems around Nova Scotia.

Our Pattern

Flowering from July to September and fruiting from September to October, the pepperbush continues to be used as decorative accents in gardens and parks. With peppers being some of our favourite fruits here at the Bather office, and though they have absolutely nothing to do with swimwear, we knew it was a great opportunity to commemorate this rich and vibrant food with our new Pepperbush pattern, coming in Chili, Habanero and Purple Beauty.