Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Lyonia ligustrina (L.) DC.
- Family: Heath (Ericaceae)
- Flowering: April-June
- Field Marks: This Lyonia differs from all others in the genus by its deciduous leaves, its minutely
toothed leaf margins, and its spherical flowers less than 1/4 inch long.
- Habitat: Low woods, edges of swamps, stream banks, bogs, bays.
- Habit: Shrub up to 12 feet tall, with spreading rhizomes.
- Stems: Slender, purple-brown at maturity, hairy at first, becoming smooth when older.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, deciduous, elliptic to obovate to lanceolate, rounded or pointed at
the tip, tapering to the base, minutely toothed, usually hairy only on the veins of both the upper
and lower surface, less commonly hairy on the blades as well, up to 4 inches long, up to 2 inches
wide; leaf stalks hairy, up to 1/4 inch long.
- Flowers: Solitary or in axillary clusters on branches of the previous season.
- Sepals: 5, green, united for about half their length, very tiny, hairy.
- Petals: 5, white or pinkish tinged, nearly spherical, united, up to 1/4 inch long.
- Stamens: 10, not exserted beyond the petals.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Capsules spherical, sometimes flattened at the top, sparsely short-hairy, brown, with
paler sutures; seeds numerous, pale, often curved.
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