Pieris phillyreifolia (Hooker) A.P. de Candolle. Subgenus: Pieris. Section: Phillyreoides. Phen: Late Feb-Apr. Hab: Acidic swamp forests. Dist: E. SC south to c. peninsular FL west to s. AL.
ID notes:This southeastern species has the remarkable habit of often growing as a creeping vine under the bark of Taxodium ascendens or Chamaecyparis, the branches exserted through the cypress bark, sometimes ascending into the upper canopy with the main stem never visible except at the very base of the tree; it also sometimes grows as a low shrub. Godfrey (1969) documents the occurrence of this species in our area. See Godfrey & Wooten (1981) and Godfrey (1989) for excellent descriptions and illustrations of this curious "shrub-vine".
Origin/Endemic status: Endemic
Taxonomy Comments: Pieris phyllyreifolia is apparently most closely related to the other two members of subgenus Pieris, section Phillyreoides, P. cubensis (Grisebach) Small, endemic to w. Cuba, and P. swinhoei Hemsley, of se. China, neither of which shares its unusual habit.
Synonymy: = Fl5, FNA8, GW2, K1, K3, K4, WH3, Judd (1982a), Luteyn et al (1996); = Ampelothamnus phillyreifolius (Hook.) Small – S; = n/a – RAB