Leucothoe davisiae
Common name: 
Western Leucothoe
Sierra Laurel
Mountain Laurel
Black Laurel
lu-KOTH-o-e day-VIS-ee-ie
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf evergreen shrub, slow growing, 1-5 ft (0.3-1.5 m) tall, stiff, erect, wide spreading.  Leaves alternate, simple, leathery, glabrous, oblong to elliptic, 1-6 cm long, 0.5-2.5 cm wide, rounded at base, apex shortly acute or obtuse, margin sparsely and evenly toothed, glossy green above, petiole 3-6 mm.  Flowers urn-shaped, 6-8 mm, white, fragrant, in erect terminal clusters (racemes), 5-15 cm long; blooms in May.  Fruit globose, 6 mm wide, thin-walled.
  • Part shade, best in moist, acidic soil; tolerates full sun if soil is moist.
  • Poisonous plant: contains diterpenoid compounds (grayanotoxins).  Leaves are most frequently eaten; as little as 1 oz. of leaves may be lethal to a sheep.  All livestock are known to be susceptible.  Toxic to humans (Field Guide to Plants Poisonous to Livestock - Western U.S., Shirley A. Weathers, 1998).
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5      Native to the High Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains of California and the Klamath Ranges of southwestern Oregon and northwestern California; found in bogs and wet areas.
  • davisiae: after Miss N. J. Davis
  • Dallas, Oregon: Delbert Hunter Arboretum.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • leaves


  • flower clusters

    flower clusters

  • plant habit, after flowering

    plant habit, after flowering

  • fruit clusters and leaves

    fruit clusters and leaves

  • fruit clusters

    fruit clusters