Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Leucothoe racemosa


SPECIES: Leucothoe racemosa
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : 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 (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : LEURAC SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : LEUCO5 COMMON NAMES : fetterbush swamp fetterbush deciduous fetterbush sweet-bells white-osier pepper-bush dog hobble TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for fetterbush is Leucothoe racemosa (L.) Gray [10]. There are no recognized subspieces, varieties, or forms. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Leucothoe racemosa
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : 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]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine FRES14 Oak - pine FRES15 Oak - hickory FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress STATES : AL CT DE FL GA LA MD MA MS NJ NY NC PA RI SC TN TX VA BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : 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 SAF COVER TYPES : 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 SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Leucothoe racemosa
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]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Leucothoe racemosa
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : 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]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Undisturbed State: Phanerophyte (microphanerophyte) Undisturbed State: Phanerophyte (nanophanerophyte) REGENERATION PROCESSES : 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. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : 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]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : 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]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Fetterbush begins extensive growth in early March and peaks in growth in early summer [17]. It flowers between April and June [20].


SPECIES: Leucothoe racemosa
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : 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]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : survivor species; on-site survivng root crown or caudex off-site colonizer; seed carried by animals or water; postfire yr 1&2


SPECIES: Leucothoe racemosa
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fire typically top-kills aboveground portions of fetterbush [4]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Fetterbush will sprout from adventitious buds on the root following fire [4]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Leucothoe racemosa
REFERENCES : 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] 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] 6. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 7. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]. Portland, OR: Dioscorides Press. 1632 p. (Dudley, Theodore R., gen. ed.; Biosystematics, Floristic & Phylogeny Series; vol. 2). [14935] 8. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 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]; [Place of meeeting unknown]. Washington, DC: [Society of American Foresters]: 139-143. [17023] 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] 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] 12. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 13. Lyon, L. Jack; Stickney, Peter F. 1976. Early vegetal succession following large northern Rocky Mountain wildfires. In: Proceedings, Tall Timbers fire ecology conference and Intermountain Fire Research Council fire and land management symposium; 1974 October 8-10; Missoula, MT. No. 14. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 355-373. [1496] 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] 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] 16. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 17. Schlesinger, William H. 1978. On the relative dominance of shrubs in Okefenokee Swamp. American Naturalist. 112(987): 949-954. [15360] 18. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 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] 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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