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Leucothoe fontanesiana (Highland doghobble)
Cressler, Alan

Leucothoe fontanesiana

Leucothoe fontanesiana (Steud.) Sleumer

Highland Doghobble, Drooping Leucothoe

Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Synonym(s): Leucothoe axillaris var. editorum, Leucothoe catesbaei, Leucothoe editorum


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A multi-stemmed, broadleaf evergreen shrub, 3-6 ft. tall, with a fountain-like arching habit. Branches often appear weighted down with the drooping spikes of white, waxy, urn-shaped flowers. Long, pointed, dark-green, glossy foliage turns red-green and purple in winter. New growth is often quite red.


From the Image Gallery

9 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 6 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , GA , KY , MA , NC , NY , SC , TN , VA
Native Distribution: Mts. of VA to GA & TN
Native Habitat: Moist woods along the mts.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Moist, acidic soils.
Conditions Comments: Sunscald, leaf burn and winter dieback problems. In very humid areas, the plant must have at least six hours of sunlight to discourage leaf spot diseases.


Description: Germinate seeds under mist or a plastic tent. Semi-hardwood and hardwood cuttings root easily with hormone treatment.
Commercially Avail: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Evergreen screening shrubs for New York
May 27, 2008
I need evergreen screening shrubs that aren't too deep. The shrubs are to be planted along an existing wrought iron fence, which is a few feet behind a children's swing set.
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:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-10-19
Research By: TWC Staff

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