Leucothoe axillaris (Lam.) D. Don
Coastal doghobble, Coast leucothoe
Ericaceae (Heath Family)
Synonym(s): Leucothoe axillaris var. ambigens, Leucothoe platyphylla
USDA Symbol: LEAX
Coast doghobble or coast leucothoe is a multi-stemmed, broadleaf evergreen shrub, 2-4 ft. tall, with a fountain-like arching habit. Flowers are white, waxy bells clustered in drooping spikes. Branches are zig-zagged toward the end and the lance-shaped, dark-green, glossy foliage turns red-green and purple in winter.
In very humid areas, the plant must have at least six hours of sunlight to discourage leaf spot diseases. It will not tolerate drought or drying winds. Rejuvenate by cutting to the ground after flowering.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Margin: Entire
Leaf Texture: Smooth
Size Notes: Normally 2 to 4 ft, occasionally to 6 ft.
Leaf: Green. New leaves and winter leaves bronze.
Flower: Spires 1 to 3 inches long
Fruit: Dark brown
Size Class: 3-6 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Color white washed with pink. Flowers on past years growth.
DistributionUSA: AL , DE , FL , GA , KY , LA , MS , NC , SC , VA
Native Distribution: Coastal plain from s.e. VA to FL Panhandle, w. to LA
Native Habitat: Wet woods on coastal plains
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Drought Tolerance: Low
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist, rich, acidic soils.
Conditions Comments: In very humid areas, the plant must have at least six hours of sunlight to discourage leaf spot diseases. It also requires good air circulation. It will not tolerate drought, drying winds, or normal lawn overwatering.
BenefitUse Ornamental: A low-growing, shade-loving, glossy-leaved, evergreen shrub well adapted to the moist conditions of the southeastern coastal plain.
Use Wildlife: Flowers used by bees. Foliage browsed by deer.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: No
PropagationPropagation Material: Hardwood Cuttings , Seeds
Description: Directly sow seeds on moist peat. Firm cuttings root readily when treated with hormone.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Rejuvenate by cutting to the ground after flowering.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Longwood Gardens - Newark, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Leucothoe axillaris in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Leucothoe axillaris in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Leucothoe axillaris
MetadataRecord Modified: 2013-09-08
Research By: TWC Staff