Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Lyonia lucida


SPECIES: Lyonia lucida
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Van Deelen, Timothy R. 1991. Lyonia lucida. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : LYOLUC SYNONYMS : Lyonia nitida (Bartr.) Fern. [36] SCS PLANT CODE : LYLU3 COMMON NAMES : fetterbush hurrahbush staggerbush TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for fetterbush is Lyonia lucida (Lam.) K. Koch (Ericaceae). There are no recognized subspecies, varieties, or forms [9,14]. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Lyonia lucida
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Fetterbush grows along the United States' southeastern Coastal Plain from southeastern Virginia, throughout south-central peninsular Florida, west to Louisiana. It also grows in Cuba [9,14]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine FRES14 Oak - pine FRES15 Oak - hickory FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress FRES41 Wet grasslands STATES : AL FL GA LA MS NC SC VA BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K079 Palmetto prairie K080 Marl - everglades K089 Black belt K090 Live oak - sea oats K091 Cypress savanna K105 Mangrove K112 Southern mixed forest K113 Southern floodplain forest K114 Pocosin SAF COVER TYPES : 69 Sand pine 73 Southern redcedar 74 Cabbage palmetto 81 Loblolly pine 83 Longleaf pine - slash pine 84 Slash pine 85 Slash pine - hardwood 98 Pond pine 101 Baldcypress 102 Baldcypress - tupelo 103 Water tupelo - swamp tupelo 104 Sweetbay - swamp tupelo - redbay 106 Mangrove SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Fetterbush is a principal shrub in the understories of pocosins [13,27,31], bayheads [23], and cypress (Taxodium spp.) heads [18,24] (all synonyms of "evergreen shrub bog" [27]). Other fetterbush sites include conifer swamps, seasonally wet flatwoods and savannas, cypress-gum (Nyssa spp.) ponds, depressions, and broadleaf seepage areas [6,9,14,28]. It is a principal understory species in the Big Cypress [7] and Okeefenokee [1] swamps, and one of the more abundant and constant shrubs in saw-palmetto (Serenoa repens) prairie [35]. Occasionally, fetterbush grows on more xeric sites such as gallberry (Ilex glabra) flatwoods and dry prairies [2,28]. Austin and others [2] describe it as a scrub "indicator", although Godfrey [14] considers it occasional in scrub communities. Overstory associates include Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides), various southern pines (Pinus spp.), sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana), red bay (Persea borbonia), loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus), cypress, and tupelo (Nyssa spp.) [9,27,28]. Understory associates include gallberry, shrubby oaks (Quercus spp.), sweetbells leucothoe (Leucothoe racemosa), highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), sweet pepperbush (Clethera alnifolia), titi (Cyrilla racemiflora), laurelleaf greenbrier (Smilax laurifolia), and honeycup (Zenobia pulveralenta) [9,16,27].


SPECIES: Lyonia lucida
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Because fetterbush is related to several other toxic plants in the Ericaceae family, Kingsbury [18] suspects that it may be toxic to livestock as well. Specific use of fetterbush by wildlife has not been reported although evergreen-shrub-bog habitats (see Site Characteristics) are important to a variety of southeastern wildlife species including the black bear, white-tailed deer, bobcat, marsh rabbit, eastern gray squirrel, eastern diamond-back rattlesnake, American alligator, pine barrens tree frog, and the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker [27]. PALATABILITY : Cattle find fetterbush unpalatable [30]. 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 : Because of fetterbush's sprouting response, clearcutting reduces cover but increases foliage biomass [6].


SPECIES: Lyonia lucida
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Fetterbush is a slow-growing, common, showy, evergreen shrub. It varies in height from 8 inches (20 cm) to 13 feet (4 m). Large shrubs have robust, branchy bases with crowns that are as broad as the height of the plant. Leaves are simple, alternate, and leathery. They are borne on green twigs which are flecked with dark, loose, deciduous scales. The small, pink flowers are borne on fascicles. The fruit is a capsule containing amber-brown, wedge-shaped seeds. Fetterbush has extensive, interconnected rhizomes which sprout and form dense clonal thickets [3,9,14,21]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : The primary mode of fetterbush regeneration is vegetative: Fetterbush sprouts from rhizomes. In nutrient-poor environments, it devotes its energy stores to vegetative growth instead of sexual reproduction and does not flower [31]. Information on seedling establishment and growth is lacking. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Fetterbush occurs on sites where flooding is common [14]. Typically, these sites flood during the spring and dry out during the fall. Water tables fall well below the soil surface for the better part of the growing season. Seasonal flooding eliminates upland competitors, and summer dessication eliminates more hydric competitors [14]. Fetterbush commonly grows on soils that are strongly to extremely acidic, poorly drained, peaty, and organic (Histisols) [19,27]. It may grow on the accumulated mats of peat and root fibers that collect around the bases of cypress trees in cypress swamps [24]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Fetterbush is a mid-seral species. It follows the establishment of deciduous shrubs after disturbance in southern swamps. [8,15,25,29]. Although an understory species, it does well in full sunlight [8] and is one of several shrubs that prospers in lightly or infrequently burned pine flatwoods [5]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Fetterbush has been reported to flower from April to June [9], from February to April [4], or beginning in January [29]. Leaf production begins in June and continues through September. Most leaves are lost in the November of their second year [31].


SPECIES: Lyonia lucida
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Fetterbush survives fire by resprouting from rhizomes and dormant basal buds [3,16,20]. FIRE REGIMES : Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Small shrub, adventitious-bud root crown Rhizomatous shrub, rhizome in soil


SPECIES: Lyonia lucida


SPECIES: Lyonia lucida
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