Leucothoe davisiae Ericaceae
Western Leucothoe, Sierra, Mountain, or Black Laurel lu-KOTH-o-e day-VIS-ee-ie
- Broadleaf evergreen shrub, slow growing, 1-5 ft (0.3-1.5 m) tall, stiff, erect, wide spreading. Leaves alternate, simple, leathery, glabrous, oblong to elliptic, 1-6 cm long, 0.5-2.5 cm wide, rounded at base, apex shortly acute or obtuse, margin sparsely and evenly toothed, glossy green above, petiole 3-6 mm. Flowers urn-shaped, 6-8 mm, white, fragrant, in erect terminal clusters (racemes), 5-15 cm long; blooms in May. Fruit globose, 6 mm wide, thin-walled.
- Part shade, best in moist, acidic soil; tolerates full sun if soil is moist.
- Poisonous plant: contains diterpenoid compounds (grayanotoxins). Leaves are most frequently eaten; as little as 1 oz. of leaves may be lethal to a sheep. All livestock are known to be susceptible. Toxic to humans (Field Guide to Plants Poisonous to Livestock - Western U.S., Shirley A. Weathers, 1998).
- Hardy to USDA Zone 5 Native to the High Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains of California and the Klamath Ranges of southwestern Oregon and northwestern California; found in bogs and wet areas.
- davisiae: after Miss N. J. Davis
- Dallas, Oregon: Delbert Hunter Arboretum.