Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.
Search native plant database:
Lyonia ligustrina (L.) DC.
USDA Symbol: LYLI
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Maleberry or he-huckleberry is a much-branched, single- or multiple stemmed, 6-12 ft., deciduous shrub, often twice as wide as tall. Glossy green leaves become orange-red in fall, finally turning tan-colored and persisting through much of the winter. The flowers are white, nodding, globe-shaped bells in crowded, one-sided terminal clusters. Hard, brownish, berry-like capsules follow the flowers and persist through winter. A much-branched, deciduous shrub with terminal clusters of globular white or pale rose flowers, constricted at the tip.
These blueberry-like shrubs are frequently associated with shrubby or wooded swamps. At least 3 more species occur in eastern North America: Staggerbush (L. mariana) has urn- or bell-shaped capsules; a southern evergreen species, Fetterbush (L. lucida), occurs from Virginia to Florida and Louisiana and has white to pale pink flowers, 3-angled branches, and dark green lustrous leaves with a conspicuous vein next to the rolled margin; another species, Rusty Staggerbush (L. ferruginea), is evergreen, with white flowers and dull green leaves. The genus name honors the early American botanist and explorer John Lyon, who died in 1818.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Autumn Foliage:
Brown Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun
, WV Native Distribution:
to NY, OH, KY
s. to FL
& e. TX; more scattered in western part of its range Native Habitat:
Low, alluvial woods & thickets; wet meadows; bogs; lakeshores
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Wet, poorly drained, acid soils.
Conditions Comments: This species is highly variable in its foliage, pubescense, and in the presence or absence of reduced leaves in the inflorescence. It has no serious disease, insect or physiological problems.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Low.
PropagationDescription: Sow seeds in spring.
Seed Collection: Overwinter at room temperature.
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2012-07-14
Research By: TWC Staff