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Agarista populifolia (Florida hobblebush)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Agarista populifolia

Agarista populifolia (Lam.) W.S. Judd

Florida Hobblebush, Tall Fetterbush, Florida Leucothoe, Agarista

Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Synonym(s): Andromeda populifolia, Leucothoe acuminata, Leucothoe populifolia, Leucothoe walteri

USDA Symbol: AGPO2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Florida-hobblebush or Florida leucothoe is a broadleaf evergreen, usually 8-12 ft. high, with a lax, arching, multi-stemmed habit. Its rich, glossy-green foliage, tinged with red on new growth, remains green through the winter. Cream-colored, fragrant flowers are borne in profuse axillary clusters.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 20 feet tall, often shorter.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun


Native Distribution: SC & FL
Native Habitat: Wet hammocks & woodlands

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Description: Cool, moist, acid, fertile soil.
Conditions Comments: This plant tends to sucker and can be used for stabilization along moist, shady, stream banks. It can be maintained at any height with proper pruning. Agarista populifolia is considered superior to Leucothoe axillaris and L. fontanesiana,at least for southern areas, and is not as susceptibe to leaf scorch as L. fontanesiana.


Description: Easily rooted from cuttings in late summer or fall.
Commercially Avail: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Identification of plant with bell-shaped flowers
January 03, 2008
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am in need of a plant name to purchase. It is absolutely beautiful. The plant has light green leaves, the flowers that bloom look like bells (of course they hang upside down...
view the full question and answer

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.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

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Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Research Literature

Reslit 703 - A Taxonomic Revision of the American Species of Agarista (Ericaceae) (1984) W. S. Judd
Reslit 896 - Agarista populifolia (2011) K. M. Mattson
Reslit 1147 - North Florida Landscape Plants for Shaded Sites (1992) F. Regulski and D. Marshall
Reslit 1501 - A Flora of Gold Head Branch Ravine and Adjacent Uplands, Clay County, Florida (1985) D. L. White and W. S. Judd

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

Additional resources

USDA: Find Agarista populifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Agarista populifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Agarista populifolia


Record Modified: 2022-10-13
Research By: TWC Staff

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