Lyonia fruticosa

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Lyonia fruticosa
Lyon frut.jpg
Photo by Betty Wargo, Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Lyonia
Species: L. fruticosa
Binomial name
Lyonia fruticosa
(Michx.) G.S. Torr.
Lyon frut dist.jpg
Natural range of Lyonia fruticosa from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Coastal plain staggerbush; Poor-grub[1]

Taxonomic notes

Synonym: Xolisma fruticosa (Michaux) Nash.[1]

Varieties: none.[1]

The genus Lyonia is named for John Lyon a 19th century botanist who is best known for his travels in southern Appalachians.[2]


A description of Lyonia fruticosa is provided in The Flora of North America.

It is very similar to L. ferruginea however, L. fruticosa has scales on the abaxial side that are all the same size.[3]


L. fruticosa ranges from southeast South Carolina to southern peninsular Florida, and west to Panhandle Florida.[1]



Habitats of L. fruticosa include pine flatwoods, pine-oak scrubs, pine/saw palmetto flats, Cyrilla swamps, cypress-gum swamps, shrub bogs, upland xeric sand pine/sand live oak communities, depression marshes, shore hammock, and mesic hardwood hammocks. It has been observed growing in abandoned dumps and slash pine plantations. Substrates include loamy sand and white sand.

L. fruticosa decreased its cover and stems per acre in response to chopping in south Florida saw palmetto-pineland communities. It has shown resistance to regrowth in reestablished pine habitat that was disturbed by this practice.[4]

Associated species include Lyonia lucida, Ilex glabra, Myrica cerifera, Aronia, Sarracenia minor, Rhododendron, Kalmia, Hypericum, Serenoa repens, Agalinis and Sphagnum.[5][6]


The white urn-shaped flowers and dry, egg shaped fruits appear March through December.[7][5] L. fruticosa has been observed flowering March to December with peak inflorescence in June.[8]

Fire ecology

L. fruticosa recovers post-fire from resprouting and clonal growth[9] and shows a significant positive trend in percent frequency with time since last fire in rosemary scrubs.[10] Density is the highest 12 months post burn.[6]


The following species were observed visiting flowers of Lyonia fruticosa at the Archbold Biological Station:[11]

Bees from the family Apidae: Bombus impatiens

Plasterer bees from the family Colletidae: Colletes banksi, C. distinctus, C. productus, C. sp. A

Sweat bees from the family Halictidae: Augochloropsis sumptuosa

Thread-waisted wasps from the family Sphecidae: Stictia carolina

Wasps from the family Vespidae: Monobia quadridens

Diseases and parasites

The lace bug Stephanitis blatchleyi has not been observed on L. fruticosa but has been found on L. ferruginea.[12] Exobasidiaceae causes galls on the leaves of L. fruticosa.[2]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draft of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 [[1]] Treasure Coast Natives Accessed: February 9, 2016
  3. [[2]] Accessed: February 9, 2016
  4. Moore, W.H. (1974). Effects of Chopping Saw-Plametto-Pineland Threeawn Range in South Florida. Journal of Range Management 27(2):101-104.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: October 2015. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, W.M.B., Edwin L. Bridges, Michael B. Brooks, Andre F. Clewell, Delzie Demaree, Angus Gholson, Robert K. Godfrey, Walter S. Judd, Robert Kral, O. Lakela, K. Lems, S.W. Leonard, Sidney McDaniel, Marc Minno, Richard S. Mitchell, R.A. Norris, C.W. O’Brien, Steve Orzell, Jackie Patman, Elmer C. Prichard, Gwynn W. Ramsey, James D. Ray, Grady Reinert, David Roddenberry, Cecil R. Slaughter, R.F. Thorne, E. Tyson, D.B. Ward, E. West, A.A. Will, Roomie Wilson. States and Counties: Florida: Alachua, Clay,Collier, Columbia, Duval, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Indian River, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Martin, Nassau, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Taylor, Volusia, Wakulla. Georgia: Camden. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Schmalzer, P. A. and C. R. Hinkle (1992). "Recovery of Oak-Saw Palmetto Scrub after Fire." Castanea 57(3): 158-173.
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named inaturalist
  8. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 12 DEC 2016
  9. Menges, E. S. and A. J. Maguire (2011). "Post-fire growth strategies of resprouting Florida scrub vegetation." Fire Ecology 7(3).
  10. Menges, E. S. and N. Kohfeldt (1995). "Life History Strategies of Florida Scrub Plants in Relation to Fire." Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 122(4): 282-297.
  11. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.
  12. Wheeler, A. G. and C. A. Stoops (2013). "STEPHANITIS BLATCHLEYI (HEMIPTERA: TINGIDAE): FIRST HOST-PLANT ASSOCIATION FOR A RARELY COLLECTED LACE BUG." The Florida Entomologist 96(2): 673-675.