Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Shining Fetterbush - Lyonia lucida   (Lamarck) K. Koch
Members of Ericaceae:
Members of Lyonia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Ericales » Family Ericaceae
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Author(Lamarck) K. Koch
DistributionThe species occurs nearly throughout the Coastal Plain, though it is absent or very rare in some counties in the northwestern part of the province. There are a very few scattered records across the Piedmont, even as far west as Stokes County, though these may be misidentifications. However, the species is essentially absent west of the Coastal Plain.

As expected, this is a Southern species of the Coastal Plains, ranging north only to southeastern VA; it ranges south through FL and west to extreme eastern TX.
AbundanceCommon to often abundant over its Coastal Plain range, especially in the Sandhills and elsewhere in the southern Coastal Plain. Much less numerous in the northern Coastal Plain, but can be locally numerous. Perhaps absent in the far northwestern Coastal Plain.
HabitatThis is one of the dominant shrubs of peaty, acidic soils in forested wetlands. It is found in Carolina bays, pocosins, bay forests, streamheads in the Sandhills, and blackwater swamp forests.
See also Habitat Account for Coastal Plain Wet Acidic Shrublands
PhenologyFlowers from April to early June; fruits in September and October.
IdentificationThis is an evergreen shrub that grows to 4-6 feet tall, with fairly long and arching/drooping branches. It is easily identified by the pale veins that run along the margins of the entire leaves, a most unusual character. Most twigs contain numerous clusters of axillary flowers or capsules at all times of the year. It often grows in extensive, dense stands along pocosin margins, often with several Ilex species (especially Ilex coriacea).
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Fetterbush Lyonia (an awkward name!), Pink Fetterbush, Shinyleaf Fetterbush, Staggerbush (used for another species). Note that the name “fetterbush” typically refers to deciduous ericads (now placed in the genus Eubotrys). However, in Lyonia this does not hold; this evergreen species is typically called a Fetterbush.
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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