Overview

Comprehensive Description

Eubotrys racemosa (L.) Nutt.

Distribution

Wet pine flatwoods (WPF-T).

Notes

Occasional. Late Mar–early Jun; Sep–Oct . Thornhill 1291, 1471, 1511, 1546 (NCSC). Specimens seen in the vicinity: Sandy Run [Neck]: Wilbur 55259 (DUKE!; as Leucothoe racemosa ); Sandy Run [ O’Berry ]:Taggart SARU 93 (WNC!). [= Leucothoe racemosa (L.) A. Gray sensu RAB; = FNA, Weakley]

  • Thornhill, Robert, Krings, Alexander, Lindbo, David, Stucky, Jon (2014): Guide to the Vascular Flora of the Savannas and Flatwoods of Shaken Creek Preserve and Vicinity (Pender & Onslow Counties, North Carolina, U. S. A.). Biodiversity Data Journal 2, 1099: 1099-1099, URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.2.e1099
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Plazi

Source: Plazi.org

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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Fetterbush is widely distributed throughout the Coastal Plain of the
southeastern United States from eastern Massachusetts to southern
Florida and west through the Gulf States to southeastern Texas [10,14].
  • 10. Godfrey, Robert K. 1988. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of northern Florida and adjacent Georgia and Alabama. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 734 p. [10239]
  • 14. Magee, Dennis W. 1981. Freshwater wetlands: A guide to common indicator plants of the Northeast. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press. 245 p. [14824]

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Occurrence in North America

AL CT DE FL GA LA MD MA MS NJ
NY NC PA RI SC TN TX VA

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: capsule, shrub

Fetterbush is a small to large, widely branched, deciduous shrub [7,10].
It is prostrate to erect in form, reaching heights between 3 to 12 feet
(1.0 - 3.5 m). The leaves are short, thin, and smooth with the smaller
leaves occurring on the twig among the larger leaves. The short,
tubular flowers are borne in clusters at the end of the stems. The
fruit is a five-part capsule that persists over the winter [14,20].
  • 10. Godfrey, Robert K. 1988. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of northern Florida and adjacent Georgia and Alabama. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 734 p. [10239]
  • 14. Magee, Dennis W. 1981. Freshwater wetlands: A guide to common indicator plants of the Northeast. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press. 245 p. [14824]
  • 20. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]
  • 7. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]

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Type Information

Isotype for Leucothoe racemosa var. projecta Fernald
Catalog Number: US 1810624
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): M. L. Fernald & B. H. Long
Year Collected: 1939
Locality: NE of Burgess Station., Dinwiddie, Virginia, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Fernald, M. L. 1939. Rhodora. 41: 553.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat characteristics

More info for the terms: shrub, swamp

Fetterbush grows on a variety of sites in the coastal plains of the
southeastern United States but is restricted to climates with mild
winters and long, hot, humid summers. It grows best in shrub-tree bogs,
cypress (Taxodium spp.)-gum (Nyssa spp.) depressions, along marshy
streambanks, and forest edges [2,15]. It is an important shrub species
in pocosins [1,11].

Common overstory associates include swamp blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica var.
biflora), loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus), sweetbay (Persea
borbonia), red maple (Acer rubrum), titi (Cyrilla racemiflora), and
southern white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides). Understory associates
include hurrahbush (Lyonia lucida), sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)
southern bayberry (Myrica cerifera), and laurelleaf greenbrier (Smilax
laurifolia) [1,3,4,5].
  • 1. Ash, A. N.; McDonald, C. B.; Kane, E. S.; Pories, C. A. 1983. Natural and modified pocosins: literature synthesis and management options. FWS/OBS-83/04. Washington, DC: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Biological Sciences. 156 p. [16178]
  • 11. Gresham, Charles A. 1989. A literature review of effects of developing pocosins. In: Hook, Donal D.; Lea, Russ, eds. Proceedings of the symposium: The forested wetlands of the Southern United States; 1988 July 12-14; Orlando, FL. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-50. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 44-50. [9228]
  • 15. Ogden, J. Gordon, III. 1962. Forest history of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. I. Modern and pre-colonial forests. American Midland Naturalist. 66(2): 417-430. [10118]
  • 2. Barbour, Michael G.; Billings, William Dwight, eds. 1988. North American terrestrial vegetation. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press. 434 p. [13876]
  • 3. Buell, Murray F.; Cain, Robert L. 1943. The successional role of southern white cedar, Chamaecyparis thyoides, in southeastern North Carolina. Ecology. 24(1): 85-93. [14091]
  • 4. Cypert, Eugene. 1961. The effects of fires in the Okefenokee Swamp in 1954 and 1955. American Midland Naturalist. 66(2): 485-503. [11018]
  • 5. Duever, Michael J.; Riopelle, Lawrence A. 1983. Successional sequences and rates on tree islands in the Okefenokee Swamp. American Midland Naturalist. 110(1): 186-191. [14590]

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the terms: hardwood, swamp

63 Cottonwood
70 Longleaf pine
75 Shortleaf pine
76 Shortleaf pine - oak
79 Virginia pine
80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine
81 Loblolly pine
82 Loblolly pine - hardwood
83 Longleaf pine - slash pine
84 Slash pine
87 Sweetgum - yellow-poplar
88 Live oak
89 Willow oak - water oak - diamondleaf oak
93 Sugarberry - American elm - green ash
96 Overcup oak - water hickory
97 Atlantic white cedar
98 Pond pine
100 Pondcypress
101 Baldcypress
102 Baldcypress - tupelo
103 Water tupelo - swamp yupelo
104 Sweetbay - swamp tupelo - redbay

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Habitat: Ecosystem

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This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine
FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine
FRES14 Oak - pine
FRES15 Oak - hickory
FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

K090 Live oak - sea oats
K091 Cypress savanna
K100 Oak - hickory
K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest
K112 Southern mixed forest
K113 Southern floodplain forest
K114 Pocosin

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General Ecology

Plant Response to Fire

More info for the term: adventitious

Fetterbush will sprout from adventitious buds on the root following fire
[4].
  • 4. Cypert, Eugene. 1961. The effects of fires in the Okefenokee Swamp in 1954 and 1955. American Midland Naturalist. 66(2): 485-503. [11018]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

Fire typically top-kills aboveground portions of fetterbush [4].
  • 4. Cypert, Eugene. 1961. The effects of fires in the Okefenokee Swamp in 1954 and 1955. American Midland Naturalist. 66(2): 485-503. [11018]

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: caudex, root crown

survivor species; on-site survivng root crown or caudex
off-site colonizer; seed carried by animals or water; postfire yr 1&2

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Fire Ecology

More info for the term: duff

Fire does not usually invade the wetlands and lower slopes of the
floodplain because the soil and duff layers are usually very damp
[11,21]. Shallow burns favor fetterbush because of its ability to
sprout quickly after aboveground portions of the plant are killed
[1,4].
  • 1. Ash, A. N.; McDonald, C. B.; Kane, E. S.; Pories, C. A. 1983. Natural and modified pocosins: literature synthesis and management options. FWS/OBS-83/04. Washington, DC: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Biological Sciences. 156 p. [16178]
  • 11. Gresham, Charles A. 1989. A literature review of effects of developing pocosins. In: Hook, Donal D.; Lea, Russ, eds. Proceedings of the symposium: The forested wetlands of the Southern United States; 1988 July 12-14; Orlando, FL. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-50. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 44-50. [9228]
  • 21. Wells, B. W.; Whitford, L. A. 1976. History of stream-head swamp forests, pocosins, and savannahs in the Southeast. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Science Society. 92: 148-150. [15038]
  • 4. Cypert, Eugene. 1961. The effects of fires in the Okefenokee Swamp in 1954 and 1955. American Midland Naturalist. 66(2): 485-503. [11018]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the term: adventitious

Fetterbush reproduces vegetatively by sprouting from adventitious buds
on the roots following disturbance [21]. It also regenerates sexually,
although the details have not been described.
  • 21. Wells, B. W.; Whitford, L. A. 1976. History of stream-head swamp forests, pocosins, and savannahs in the Southeast. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Science Society. 92: 148-150. [15038]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

Undisturbed State: Phanerophyte (microphanerophyte)
Undisturbed State: Phanerophyte (nanophanerophyte)

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Life Form

More info for the term: shrub

Shrub

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

Fetterbush is an early- to mid-seral species that is intolerant to shade
and grows best in full sunlight [3,15]. In a southern white cedar
forest in southeastern North Carolina, fetterbush was present in the
intial stages after disturbance, gradually reduced in the middle-age
forest, and disappeared in the mature forest [3].
  • 15. Ogden, J. Gordon, III. 1962. Forest history of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. I. Modern and pre-colonial forests. American Midland Naturalist. 66(2): 417-430. [10118]
  • 3. Buell, Murray F.; Cain, Robert L. 1943. The successional role of southern white cedar, Chamaecyparis thyoides, in southeastern North Carolina. Ecology. 24(1): 85-93. [14091]

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Fetterbush begins extensive growth in early March and peaks in growth in
early summer [17]. It flowers between April and June [20].
  • 17. Schlesinger, William H. 1978. On the relative dominance of shrubs in Okefenokee Swamp. American Naturalist. 112(987): 949-954. [15360]
  • 20. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Eubotrys racemosa

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Eubotrys racemosa

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

Fetterbush is listed as a medium choice browse to white-tailed deer in
the Longleaf Pine Belt of Alabama [9]. The leaves of fetterbush are
poisonous to livestock [19,20].
  • 19. Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States, their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 362 p. [4240]
  • 20. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]
  • 9. Goodrum, Phil D.; Reid, Vincent H. 1958. Deer browsing in the longleaf pine belt. In: Proceedings, 58th annual meeting of the Society of American Foresters; [Date of meeting unknown]

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Wikipedia

Eubotrys racemosa

Eubotrys racemosa (syn. Leucothoe racemosa) is a species of flowering plant in the heath family known by the common names fetterbush, swamp doghobble, and swamp sweetbells. It is native to the southeastern United States, where its distribution extends along the coastal plain from Massachusetts to Florida to Texas.[1]

This plant is a shrub growing up to 4 meters tall. The thin, smooth leaves have oval to widely lance-shaped blades with serrated margins. The leaves are 3 to 8 centimeters long, with small and larger leaves occurring together on a branch. The leaves are deciduous. The inflorescence is a row of bell-shaped white flowers each just under a centimeter long. The fruit is a capsule.[1][2]

This shrub grows in coastal plain habitat among pines such as loblolly, slash, and shortleaf pines, and oak species. It occurs in several habitat types including savanna, forest, bog, and pocosin. The climate is mild in the winter and hot and humid in the summer. It is not tolerant of shade and is usually found in full sunlight. It can be found growing with swamp blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica var. biflora), loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus), sweetbay (Persea borbonia), red maple (Acer rubrum), titi (Cyrilla racemiflora), southern white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides), hurrahbush (Lyonia lucida), sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia), southern bayberry (Myrica cerifera), and laurelleaf greenbrier (Smilax laurifolia).[1]

The leaves of this plant are poisonous to livestock.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Coladonato, Milo. 1992. Leucothoe racemosa. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.
  2. ^ Eubotrys racemosa. Flora of North America.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Common Names

More info for the term: swamp

fetterbush
swamp fetterbush
deciduous fetterbush
sweet-bells
white-osier
pepper-bush
dog hobble

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The currently accepted scientific name for fetterbush is Leucothoe
racemosa (L.) Gray [10]. There are no recognized subspieces, varieties,
or forms.
  • 10. Godfrey, Robert K. 1988. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of northern Florida and adjacent Georgia and Alabama. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 734 p. [10239]

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