Leucothoe axillaris Ericaceae
Coast Leucothoe, Coastal Doghobble, Fetter Bush lu-KOTH-o-e ack-sil-LAIR-iss
- Broadleaf evergreen shrub, 2-4(6) ft high and 3-5(9) wide [06-1.2(1.8) m × 0.9-1.5(2.7) m], spreading branches, with a zig-zag pattern toward the tip. Leaves simple, alternate, ovate, elliptic to oval, 5-10 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, leathery, tip short acuminate to abruptly mucronate (short sharp point), base tapering, margin entire to serrate, glossy dark green above, paler below, finally glabrous; petiole 2-10 mm long. Foliage color may be purple and red in winter. Flowers urn-shaped, white or pinkish white, borne in drooping clusters (2.5-7.5 cm) in leaf axils. Fruit a small 5-lobed capsule, inconspicuous.
- Sun in cooler climates, or part shade. Attractive in masses. Appearance is similar to that of L. fontanesiana, but generally shorter and broader. Several cultivars available.
- Poisonous: Leaves and nectar from flowers are poisonous; if ingested may cause salivation and nasal discharge, sweating, tingling sensation, headache, depression, weakness, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, paralysis. Toxic Principle is andromedotoxin.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 5 Native to the southeastern US.
- axillaris: Latin, borne in the axil, axillary; a reference to the flower clusters.
- Oregon State Univ., North Willamette Research and Extension Center, Aurora.