Leucothoe axillaris
Common name: 
Coast Leucothoen
Coastal Doghobble
Fetter Bush
lu-KOTH-o-e ack-sil-LAIR-is
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf evergreen shrub, 2-4(6) ft high and 3-5(9) wide [06-1.2(1.8) m × 0.9-1.5(2.7) m], spreading branches, with a zig-zag pattern toward the tip.  Leaves simple, alternate, ovate, elliptic to oval, 5-10 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, leathery, tip short acuminate to abruptly mucronate (short sharp point), base tapering, margin entire to serrate, glossy dark green above, paler below, finally glabrous; petiole 2-10 mm long.  Foliage color may be purple and red in winter.  Flowers urn-shaped, white or pinkish white, borne in drooping clusters (2.5-7.5 cm) in leaf axils.  Fruit a small 5-lobed capsule, inconspicuous.
  • Sun in cooler climates, or part shade.  Attractive in masses.  Appearance is similar to that of L. fontanesiana, but generally shorter and broader.  Several cultivars available.
  • Poisonous: Leaves and nectar from flowers are poisonous; if ingested may cause salivation and nasal discharge, sweating, tingling sensation, headache, depression, weakness, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, paralysis.  Toxic Principle is andromedotoxin.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5      Native to the southeastern US.
  • axillaris: Latin, borne in the axil, axillary; a reference to the flower clusters.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, early spring

    plant habit, early spring

  • leaves, early spring

    leaves, early spring