Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Cyrilla racemiflora L.
- Family: Leatherwood (Cyrillaceae)
- Flowering: May-July
- Field Marks: This species is distinguished by its racemes of densely crowded, white flowers
which persist on the plant during the fall and winter months.
- Habitat: Swamps, along streams, bogs, bayheads, backwaters, wet prairies, low pinelands,
pocosins, flatwood depressions, preferring acid, sandy, or peaty soils.
- Habit: Shrub, often with a spongy base, commonly forming sprouts.
- Stems: Woody, usually up to 10 feet tall, sometimes as much as 35 feet tall, smooth.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, oblanceolate to oval, rounded or pointed at the tip, narrowed to the
base, thick, without teeth, smooth, sometimes nearly evergreen, reticulate-veined, up to 4 inches
long, up to 1 inch wide.
- Flowers: Many, crowded in racemes borne on last year's twigs; racemes up to 6 inches long;
flower stalks subtended by slender bracts.
- Sepals: Usually 5, united at the base, pointed at the tip.
- Petals: 5, white, free from each other, up to 1/4 inch long.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Ovoid, dry, about 1/12 inch long, with 1-5 seeds, but only 1 seed maturing.
- Notes: In tropical rain forests, this species is a large tree. This species is frequently called titi.
The leaves sometimes turn reddish or yellowish in the autumn.
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