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Leucothoe axillaris

Phonetic Spelling
loo-KOH-thoh-ee ak-sil-LAIR-iss
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Coastal Doghobble is an evergreen shrub that may grow 2 to 4 feet tall. It grows in moist, acidic places such as swamps and pocosins. The leaves are alternate with a toothed or fuzzy margin. The bark is smooth and light brown. In spring, small, white, bell-shaped flowers develop in the leaf axis on 2- to 3-inch hanging clusters. The shrub produces a dry, brown capsule that occurs in long clusters and matures in the fall.

Grow the Coastal Doghobble in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil, it prefers acidic, organic soil. It can be grown in full sun but must have good moisture. It does not tolerate drought or windy conditions. Although winter hardy to Zone 5, this shrub should be planted in a protected location and given a good winter mulch.

HIGHLY TOXIC MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN!    

Fire Risk: This plant has a high flammability rating and should not be planted within the defensible space of your home. Select plants with a low flammability rating for the sites nearest your home. 

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  Root rot and leaf spot are occasional problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Greesprite'
  • 'Jenkins'
  • 'Margie Jenkins'
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#wildlife plant#native shrub#cover plant#slopes#hedges#fire#high flammability#bumblebees#NC native#deer resistant#rock gardens#pollinator plant#cover#food source nectar#food source pollen#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#butterfly friendly#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Greesprite'
  • 'Jenkins'
  • 'Margie Jenkins'
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#wildlife plant#native shrub#cover plant#slopes#hedges#fire#high flammability#bumblebees#NC native#deer resistant#rock gardens#pollinator plant#cover#food source nectar#food source pollen#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#butterfly friendly#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Leucothoe
    Species:
    axillaris
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South Eastern U.S.A
    Fire Risk Rating:
    high flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Its flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies and other pollinators. It provides good cover, especially in the winter.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is highly resistant to damage from deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Mounding
    Spreading
    Vase
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a globular, 5-lobed capsule, more or less depressed at the apex. Fruits appear from September to October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Description:
    Clusters of slightly fragrant, heather-like, white flowers bloom on the Coastal doghobble from Match to May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The Coastal doghobble features thick, shiny, dark green leaves. The leaves are alternate, simple, leathery and turn a purplish-bronze hue in winter. They range from 2" to 4" long. New growth is bronze-red, twisted and curved.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Riparian
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Problems:
    Frequent Disease Problems
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Salivation and nasal discharge, sweating, tingling sensation, headache, depression, weakness, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, paralysis, coma, low blood pressure, death. Ingestion of a few leaves can cause serious problems.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Andromedotoxin.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Leaves