Lyonia ligustrina (Linnaeus) A.P. de Candolle var. ligustrina . Phen: May-Jul; Sep-Oct. Hab: Mountain bogs, shrub balds, bottomlands, other moist to wet habitats, "dry" exposed ridges at high elevations. Dist: S. ME, s. NH, s. VT, s. and e. NY, s. OH, WV, and KY south to w. and c. SC, n. GA, and ne. AL, primarily in the mountains and adjacent provinces.
ID notes:Rather nondescript when sterile, the gray-green hue of the leaves is a useful character, and at 5-10× magnification the appressed white hairs are an excellent diagnostic feature for both varieties of Lyonia ligustrina.
Origin/Endemic status: Native
Taxonomy Comments: Var. ligustrina is the usual variety in the Mountains and Piedmont, but extends as well into the Coastal Plain in NC and SC. This variety is very variable in leaf shape and size, some populations having leaves about 3 cm long and 1.3 cm wide, others with leaves to as large as 8 cm long and 5 cm wide. The plants with smaller leaves occur in bogs and other distinctly wet habitats, while plants with large leaves occur in thin soils in high elevation heath balds and thin soils around rock outcrops (as, for instance, on Grandfather Mountain, NC).
Synonymy: = F, FNA8, GW2, K1, K3, K4, NE, NY, Tn, Va, W, Judd (1981), Luteyn et al (1996); = Arsenococcus ligustrinus (L.) Small – S; = Xolisma ligustrina (L.) Britton; < Lyonia ligustrina (L.) DC. – C, G, Pa, RAB, WV