196 Leucothoe fontanesianaCommon Names: drooping leucothoe, doghobble Family: Ericaceae (heath Family)
The weeping shrub has long, lance shaped leaves on slender stems with almost no branching. It grows 3'-5' high with equal spread, and seems weighted down by its burden of flowers. The white, fragrant, and somewhat pitcher shaped blooms are similar to blueberry flowers. Although it blooms prolifically in mid-spring, there is so much foliage that the visual display is not particularly showy.
Leucothoe fontanesiana is native to North America. Evergreen in the south; semi-evergreen in the north.
CultureEasy to grow in deep, acid, well drained, moist soil with plenty of organic matter. Does not tolerate drought or drying winds. Needs little or no pruning, but may be rejuvenated if needed by cutting back all the way after flowering. Use Leucothoe populifolia, now known as Agarista populifolia (Florida leucothoe) in warmer climates; L. fontanesiana is not partial to intense heat. Light: Dense to partial shade preferred. Tolerates sun if soil stays moist. Moisture: Evenly moist. Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 - 8. Propagation: Cuttings from hardened stems any time of year. Best to use rooting hormone and keep moist.
This leucothoe makes a fine border with an informal, woodsy tone. It is good massed to fill in under trees, and would nicely cover a shady bank. The medium texture and elongated leaves provide a good contrast with coarser foliage, and an attractive background for hostas, impatiens, and assorted woodland flowers.
Arching, graceful stems. Tender young leaves are light green or bronze; mature leaves are dark green, and in the fall, this shrub has a purple cast.
Steve Christman 08/15/97