The pepper bush is native to coastal New England. The Palmer House has several of these bushes beside the entrance door. They are a pretty bush with oval green leaves and a cluster of white conically shaped blossoms. The flowers bloom in August and one of its most attractive features is its sweet delicate fragrance.
The New England pepper bush is not related to the bush of the same name that is found in the south sea islands and produces the the well known spice. The story has been told that even before the sailors, on whaling ships had made landfall, they could smell the scent of this fragrant bush. What a welcome sign it must have been after years at sea away from home.