Know Your Plants

know your plants Leucothoe


Attractive, yet low-maintenance, leucothoe plants bring both foliage and flowers to any landscape. There are more than 50 species of flowering shrubs in the Leucothoe genus, many of which are native to the U.S. For example, coastal leucothoe grows in almost all states, with the exception of just a handful.

Plant a leucothoe bush in acidic soil and water it consistently for best results. You can choose just about any spot, although a little bit of shade will help the plant’s ornamental foliage colors come to life. Most leucothoe varieties will grow to approximately six feet tall.

Did You Know?
Leucothoe is also known as dog hobble. The origin is unconfirmed, but one common legend is that native hunters would see their dogs tangled—or hobbled—in the plant’s branches.

Other Fun Facts About Leucothoe

  • Snipping the stems of a leucothoe can help an older plant regenerate. New stem growth is vibrant and colorful.
  • Leucothoe foliage will remain showy and ever-changing year-round. In the case of coastal dog hobble, the leaves even turn purple in winter.
  • The genus name, Leucothoe, holds a Greek reference, leukós, meaning “white,” which describes the color of the flowers.

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