staggerbush Ericaceae Lyonia
ferruginea (Walter) Nutt. symbol: LYFE
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, thickened, elliptical to obovate, 1 to 2 1/2 inches long, entire to slightly wavy margin, revolute, blue-green above, much paler and rusty scaly beneath.
Flower: Small (1/4 inch), urn-shaped, 5 white, fused petals with numerous light brown scales, borne singly or in small groups in the leaf axils of last years growth, appear in spring.
Fruit: Dry reddish brown, 5-valved capsules, 1/4 inch long; mature in late summer, persistent.
Twig: Slender, green but generally densely covered in rusty brown scales, leaf scar with a single bundle scar.
Bark: Gray-brown and becoming finely scaly.
Form: Sprouts readily and forms thickets reaching up to 20 feet in height. Larger specimens develop rigid twisted branches and an irregular crown.
Looks like: maleberry - fetterbush lyonia - coast leucothoe - swamp doghobble
Additional Range Information: Lyonia ferruginea is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting staggerbush.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson