Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Lyonia ferruginea (Walter) Nutt.
- Family: Heath (Ericaceae)
- Flowering: April-May
- Field Marks: Lyonias differ from other heaths by a combination of urn-shaped flowers with a superior ovary and an inflorescence that is umbel-like, rather than racemose. Rusty lyonia differs from the others in the genus by its evergreen, scale-bearing leaves and its flowers borne on branches of the previous season.
- Habitat: Bayheads, pine flatwoods, moist hammocks, sand scrub.
- Habit: Colony-forming shrub up to 15 feet tall, with rhizomes.
- Stems: Sometimes branched, irregularly spreading, gray or gray-brown, hairy and scaly.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, evergreen, leathery, elliptic to obovate, pointed at the tip, tapering
to the base, without teeth, often revolute, densely rusty-scaly when young, usually somewhat
hairy and scaly at maturity, with both rusty and gray scales, up to 3 1/2 inches long, up to
1 1/2 inches wide.
- Flowers: Several in axillary clusters on branches of the previous season; flower stalks scaly.
- Sepals: 5, united at base, scaly on outside, up to 1/10 inch long, persistent on the fruit.
- Petals: 5, white, united to form an urn, up to 1/4 inch long.
- Stamens: 10.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Capsules ovoid, hairy at first, scaly, up to 1/4 inch long, with 5 thickened sutures.
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