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Leiophyllum buxifolium (Sandmyrtle)
Cressler, Alan

Leiophyllum buxifolium

Leiophyllum buxifolium (Bergius) Elliott

Sandmyrtle, Sand-myrtle

Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Synonym(s): Dendrium buxifolium, Kalmia buxifolia, Leiophyllum buxifolium var. hugeri, Leiophyllum buxifolium var. prostratum, Leiophyllum hugeri, Leiophyllum lyonii

USDA Symbol: lebu

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A small, delicate, evergreen shrub of great variability in the wild. Low, upright, widely branching, with crowded, leathery leaves and small, pink or pinkish-white flowers in dense clusters. Usually a dense shrub 1 1/2-3 ft. high in cultivation. Slender stems bear dark, lustrous green leaves which become bronzy in cold weather. Rose-colored flower buds open to white flowers tipped with pink in small, terminal clusters.

The genus name is from the Greek leios (“smooth”) and phyllon (“leaf”). The species name also refers to the leaves, which are similar to those of boxes (Buxus).


From the Image Gallery

11 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 3 feet tall.

Bloom Information

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


USA: GA , KY , NC , NJ , PA , SC , TN
Native Distribution: Mts. & lower piedmont of the Carolinas; also barrens of NJ
Native Habitat: Dry, sandy barrens; thin, moist mt. woods

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, acid sand/peat soil.
Conditions Comments: A variable species, usually divided into three varieties. Does not tolerate drought. No serious disease or insect problems.


Description: Increase with seeds under a mist tent, root cuttings, layering, or stem cuttings.
Commercially Avail: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Evergreen plants safe for horses in Louisville, Kentucky
May 16, 2010
I have a horse farm in Louisville, Ky. I want to plant evergreen plants along the walls in front of the horse barns. What types of plants are not toxic to horses can I use? Thank you so much for all y...
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

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

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-15
Research By: TWC Staff

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