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Cyrilla racemiflora

Common Name(s):

  • Leatherwood
  • Swamp Cyrilla
  • Swamp Titi
Phonetic Spelling
sir-RIL-ah rah-see-MIH-flor-ah
Description

Cyrilla racemiflora is native to the wet coastal plains of the southeastern US. This shrub has attractive, smooth brown bark and rich green foliage which gradually becomes orange to maroon in the fall (zones 6-7).  It is a sprawling, spreading, loose, rounded shrub; stout, with an eccentric trunk the branches contorted and twisted into interesting shapes.  It likes full sun to partial shade with moist to wet acidic rich soil.   It does well to be planted in a riparian area, a bog or stream bank but it does not compete well with other aggressive plants so it needs its own space.  It flowers on previous season's growth and attracts bees.  It does not like dry soil.   If left unmanaged, it easily suckers to form colonies.  This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer though it is browsed by them. 

Seasons of Interest: 

  Leaf:                     Blooms:  Summer            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Fall

Cultivars:
Tags:
#contorted trunk#bees#evergreen#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#small tree#pollinators#fragrant flowers#wildlife plant#honey bees#aromatic#winter interest#cover#fall interest#wet sites#food#stream banks#honey#deer resistant#pond#bog#wildlife#nectar#wet soil#winter fruit
Cultivars:
Tags:
#contorted trunk#bees#evergreen#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#small tree#pollinators#fragrant flowers#wildlife plant#honey bees#aromatic#winter interest#cover#fall interest#wet sites#food#stream banks#honey#deer resistant#pond#bog#wildlife#nectar#wet soil#winter fruit
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cyrilla
    Species:
    racemiflora
    Family:
    Cyrillaceae
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    southeastern US
    Distribution:
    AL , DE , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , SC , TX , VA
    Wildlife Value:
    It provides great cover during extreme weather.   Butterflies and bees feed on the nectar from the flowers.  Bees produce a dark honey from this tree. Mammals eat the fruits. Its foliage is browsed by white-tailed deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 8 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full Sun (Direct sunlight 8+ hours a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight (2-4 hrs) for only part of the day
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Yellow-brown capsule ovoid, dry, 1/12 inch long, containing 1-5 seeds, but ending up with only 1 seed maturing. Persists into winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Profuse 3-6 in. drooping sprays or racemes of white fragrant flowers late spring into summer (May, June, July) produced on stalks from last year's growth. The flower stalks are subtended by slender bracts.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, simple, oblanceolate (having a rounded apex and tapering base) to oval, rounded or pointed at the tip, narrowed to the base leaves. The leaves are thick, without teeth, smooth and sometimes nearly evergreen. They are also reticulate (net-like)-veined, up to 4 inches long, up to 1 inch wide. The leaves are bright green below and gradually becomes canary yellow to orange burgundy in the fall.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Smooth cinnamon-colored bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Pond
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer