Fetterbush
Lyonia lucida (Lam.) Koch
Ericaceae (Heath) Family

Fetterbush is also known as Stagger-bush, Hurrah-bush, and Shiny Lyonia.

The plant is a shrub to about five feet tall. Its preferred habitat is swampy areas, stream banks, margin of bogs and savannas. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

The leaves are alternate on the stem, widest at the center, evergreen, nearly stalkless, no teeth and no lobes; tapers to the tip with sides less than equal and base is wedge-shaped; margins sometimes rolled inward with a conspicuous vein next to the rolled margin.

Flowers are clusters in the leaf axil (space between leaf and stem and the next leaf set); bisexual; symmetrical; calyx is five lobed; corolla is urn-shaped; usually pinkish; ten stamens. Flowers occur in early spring.

Fruit is a capsule.

At least three species occur in the Escambia region; Staggerbush, Male-berry and the Fetterbush. All are associated with wooded swamps and are especially prolific along Murder and Burnt Corn creeks in the Escambia, Alabama sector; Sizemore in Florida. The entire range of these shrubs is New England south to Florida; west to Texas; north to Kentucky and Oklahoma.

Fruit resembles huckleberry or blueberry; a favorite of wildlife. The genus name,
Lyonia, honors the early American botanist and explorer John Lyon, who first described the shrubs. Dr. Lyon died in 1818.

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