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Leucothoe fontanesiana

Phonetic Spelling
loo-KOH-thoh-ee fon-tah-neh-see-AY-nah
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Leucothoe fontanesiana, commonly called drooping laurel, is a suckering, multi-stemmed, broadleaf understory evergreen shrub with arching branches that is native to moist, forested mountain areas, dense thickets, stream banks and ravines from New York south to Alabama and Georgia, primarily in the Appalachian Mountains.

It typically grows in a mound to 3-6' tall and equally as wide. New growth on this plant is red and foliage with enough sun exposure turns a deep burgundy in the fall and winter. 

The Mountain Dog hobble is best grown in moist, acidic soils, however, it can be grown in a variety of soil types. It grows best in part shade, but can also be grown in full shade or full sun (must have consistent moisture).  Dog hobble does not tolerate drought or windy conditions.

Although winter hardy to USDA Zone 5, this shrub should be planted in a protected location and given a good winter mulch in some areas to ensure winter survival. Plants will sucker to form colonies over time. It can be severely pruned to control height. 

HIGHLY TOXIC MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN!

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  No serious insect or disease problems but leaf spot can cause significant problems to the foliage in areas with poor air circulation.

Cultivars:
  • 'Girard's Rainbow'
  • 'Rollisoni'
  • 'Scarletta'
Tags:
#bees#butterflies#evergreen#pollinators#wildlife plant#showy#shade tolerant#shade shrub#nectar plant#woodland garden#shade garden#cover plant#winter interest#riparian#hedge#wetlands#naturalize#winter cover#cpp#deer resistant
Cultivars:
  • 'Girard's Rainbow'
  • 'Rollisoni'
  • 'Scarletta'
Tags:
#bees#butterflies#evergreen#pollinators#wildlife plant#showy#shade tolerant#shade shrub#nectar plant#woodland garden#shade garden#cover plant#winter interest#riparian#hedge#wetlands#naturalize#winter cover#cpp#deer resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Leucothoe
    Species:
    fontanesiana
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    USA
    Distribution:
    South Eastern US, Appalachian Mountains
    Wildlife Value:
    Its flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies and other pollinators.  It provides good cover, especially in the winter.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is highly resistant to damage from deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Mounding
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Globular, 5-lobed capsule, not ornamental.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Petals:
    fused petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Drooping racemes of waxy, urn-shaped, creamy white flowers that droop from the leaf axils in spring (May). The 2" to 3" flowers are fragrant to ill-scented.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leathery, lanceolate, evergreen leaves (to 5" long) have widespread serrate margins and taper to a long point. They are alternate, simple, lustrous dark green leaves (lighter below), 2 to 5 in. long. They have long slender stems with limited branching.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    New growth is red.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Erosion
    Heavy Shade
  • Poison:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Salivation and nasal discharge, sweating, tingling sensation, headache, depression, weakness, abdominal pain, nausea vomiting
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Andromedotoxin
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Leaves