Coastal Doghobble, Leucothoe axillaris

Also known as Coast Leucothoe

Coastal Doghobble is a multi-stemmed, broadleaf evergreen shrub, from 2 to 4 feet tall, with a fountain-like arching habit. Flowers are white, waxy bells clustered in drooping spikes. In more shaded areas it is around 2 feet tall, but in a moist and partially sunny location is closer to six feet. Branches are zig-zagged toward the end and the lance-shaped, dark-green, glossy foliage turns red-green and purple in winter.

It is well suited to the moist, humid southeast coastal plain. However, in very humid areas, the plant should have at least six hours of sunlight to discourage leaf spot diseases. It does not tolerate drought or drying winds. In the woods here swaths of the shrub appear on on moist north facing slopes then appears again in well drained areas in the flat floodplain.

Here, just above the Briery Run floodway, it is easy to see how it gets its common name. Photo by K. Mulcahy

Sources:,, various other authoritative resources and personal experience.