Lyonia lucida

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Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Evergreens

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: dry, moist, wet

Soil Description: acid, rich, average, loam, sand

Height: 3'-6'

Bloom Time: March, April, May

Bloom Color: white, pink

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 7, 8, 9, 10

Additional Tags: bog plant, evergreen, fall interest, fragrant flowers, hedging plant, naturalizing, pond margin plant, stream margin plant, swamp plant

Lyonia lucida (fetterbush lyonia)
  • Lyonia lucida (fetterbush lyonia)
  • Lyonia lucida (fetterbush lyonia)
  • Lyonia lucida (fetterbush lyonia)
  • Lyonia lucida (fetterbush lyonia)

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Lyonia lucida

Also known as:

fetterbush lyonia








shiny lyonia

Scientific Synonyms:

Desmothamnus lucidus, Neopieris nitida


Lyonia lucida is an evergreen, medium-sized shrub with graceful, arching stems. It is usually 3' to 6' tall, occasionally reaching 12' under ideal conditions. In early spring, fetterbush will bear clusters of whitish to deep pink flowers on the previous year's stem axils. These flowers are reminiscent of lily-of-the-valley, urn or bell-shaped, sweetly fragrant and long lasting. The leaves are smooth and leathery. They resemble those of privet but their arrangement is alternate or asymmetrical.


A naturalizing, understory shrub, fetterbush lyonia is typically found in the southeastern lowlands and coastal plains, from Virginia to Louisiana. It thrives in boggy, swampy environments, yet once established, plants require little care and can even withstand dry locations. Acid soil is best. Sunnier locations will produce a more compact form. Lyonia lucida offers the benefit of an extended bloom time lasting several weeks, anytime between early March through May, depending on geographic location. Zones 7-10


May be propagated from seed or stem cuttings in spring. Also propagate from root cuttings or division of mature plants.

Additional Notes

In the right location, Lyonia lucida will be maintenance free and naturalize. It takes well to being cut back and can be used as a hedge plant.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:


Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Dilleniidae
Order Ericales
Family Ericaceae Heath family
Genus Lyonia staggerbush
Species Lyonia lucida fetterbush lyonia