Lyonia ligustrina (L.) DC.
Ericaceae (Heath Family)
USDA Symbol: LYLI
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Autumn Foliage: yes
Size Class: 6-12 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WV
Native Distribution: S.e. ME to NY, OH, KY & AR, 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
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Lyonia ligustrina in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lyonia ligustrina in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lyonia ligustrina
MetadataRecord Modified: 2012-07-14
Research By: TWC Staff