Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Taxonomy
Lyonia ligustrina (L.) DC.
ERICACEAE (Heath Family)
EtymologyLyonia is named for John Lyon (c 1765-1814), A Scottish gardener who collected specimens in the Eastern U.S.; ligustrina, in Latin, means having privet-like leaves.
Synonyms (Common Name)Male Blueberry, Male Huckleberry
DescriptionA bushy shrub that often forms clumps or thickets, maleberry is a deciduous, ericaceous shrub that grows 5-13' tall. Larger branches and stems have loose, shreddy bark; twigs are yellowish-tan; leaf buds are bright red, two-scaled, and flattened against the twig.
Wetland indicator statusFACW
Plant Height5-13 feet
LeavesDeciduous, alternate, simple; entire or finely-toothed; 1-2 1/2" long; oblanceolate, to obovate; upper surface sometimes scurfy -- covered with small, bran-like scales.
Flower/InflorescenceWhite, tiny (1/8"), globe-shaped; in lateral clusters in leaf axils or at end of branches of last year's growth.
Flowering PeriodJune-July
FruitCapsule, tiny, (1/8 -- 3/16"), round, 5-parted; yellow-brown; brittle and brown by winter.
HabitatWooded and shrub swamps; wet, sandy soils.
RangeMaine to Ohio, south to Florida and Texas.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett