Cyrilla racemiflora Linnaeus
Cyrillaceae (Cyrilla) Family
Plant is a shrub or small tree with terminal, finger-like clusters of numerous small white flowers. its preferred habitat is swamps, low pine woods and along watercourses throughout the Escambia region.
The leaves are alternate on the stem, usually long; shiny; elliptic (widest at the middle) and leathery; short leaf stalks. Leaf tips are blunt or rounded.
Flowers are in drooping clusters. Each flower is bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form; 5 pointed petals and 5 white sepals. Flowers occur in early spring
Fruit is a brownish-yellow, berry-like drupe.
This shrub is particularly beautiful in the fall when its foliage turns scarlet or orange. The Buckwheat Tree (Cliftonia monophylla), which is closely related and often mistaken for Swamp Cyrilla, occurs in wetlands alongside Cyrilla. The major difference is its flowers are in wider clusters and it has small four-winged fruits.