Ericaceae species?

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by nitrogeninthesoil, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. nitrogeninthesoil

    nitrogeninthesoil Active Member

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    Hi,
    This plant is growing on a friend's property in N. VA. It is extremely slow growing and evergreen.

    Any ideas? Thank-you!
     

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  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    How tall is the plant?
     
  3. nitrogeninthesoil

    nitrogeninthesoil Active Member

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    It is very short...I'm not sure in inches but those dead leaves around it are on the floor of the woodland....so I'd say not more than 6 in and probably less. It may also have been subject to deer browse making it much smaller than it "should" be.
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Hmm, if you are certain it is Ericaceae, compare it against Lyonia lucida, for example, here: fetterbush lyonia (Lyonia lucida ) (this would grow to a significant shrub size, though. The shorter things that I am familiar with in Ericaceae aren't good matches for these leaves).
     
  5. nitrogeninthesoil

    nitrogeninthesoil Active Member

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    Thanks Daniel,

    My friend and I were thinking Ericaceae because of the leathery, shiny leaves but we are, by no means, sure about it and I couldn't think of anything else in that family that would grow in her region with those leaves unless it was something introduced (invasive) . I will pass on the suggestion of Lyonia but do you have any other suggestions that would fit those leaves outside of the Ericaceae family?
     
  6. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Wondering if it is some type of Gaultheria, maybe G. procumbens ?
     
  7. nitrogeninthesoil

    nitrogeninthesoil Active Member

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    Thanks for your suggestion chimera. I thought of that one but discounted it because of the leaves. The unknown seems to have completely smooth leaves...the Gaultheria has a venation pattern that doesn't quite match. The leaf bud of the Lyonia doesn't quite match the unknown either. As Daniel suggested maybe we should be looking at a different family?
     
  8. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I considered Gaultheria procumbens, but the images I looked at always showed some teeth on the leaves.

    How convenient is it to take another photo? (or do you have more?) I'm finding it hard to determine whether these have alternate or opposite leaf arrangements, as I am seeing evidence either way.
     
  9. nitrogeninthesoil

    nitrogeninthesoil Active Member

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    I believe they're opposite. The pics she sent me are all pretty much the same. I don't have access to the plant.
     
  10. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Well, not finding anything else that is closer than what was previously suggested. It honestly looks like a Camellia to a couple of us, but that wouldn't be native. Are there any in nearby gardens that you know of or is this deep in the forest?
     
  11. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    My first thought was privet Ligustrum sp., but that wouldn't fit 'slow-growing' so well!
     
  12. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes, it could very well be... I was browsing through the Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual and there were a number of Ligustrum species mentioned, but not fully illustrated.
     
  13. Michigander

    Michigander Active Member

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    Periwinkle. Should find an occasional blue flower almost year-around, even now
     
  14. nitrogeninthesoil

    nitrogeninthesoil Active Member

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    Thank-you for all the suggestions! I don't think it's periwinkle and my friend does not think it's ligustrum...we are not familiar with Camellia...so maybe. My friend thinks it could be Kalmia latifolia as that is common in her area but I'm not sure about that (any thoughts on that?)....I guess we'll have to wait and see what it grows into!
     
  15. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Kalmia has alternate leaves, and you said above that you think the leaves are opposite, so that should rule out Kalmia and also Camellia, which also mostly seem to have serrated leaf edges.

    I was also thinking Ligustrum (there are many kinds), but was reluctant to suggest it since I expected that more knowledgeable people would have suggested it if it were a possibiliity. But I see that Ligustrum japonicum is listed as invasive in North Carolina, see this North Carolina State University Extension page:
    Ligustrum japonicum. They usually grow much taller, but you have mentioned the possibility that deer have kept them low to the ground.
     
  16. nitrogeninthesoil

    nitrogeninthesoil Active Member

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    We actually both live in N. VA but I spend a lot of time in NC and that's where I find most of my unknowns that's why I have NC as my location. I would guess that Ligustrum is prob. an invasive in VA too. However, my friend does not think it is this...I think she's been watching it for a while and it really has not grown very fast. It may have been browsed by deer at some point but I imagine that she has been protecting it and is judging growth rate accordingly...it is very slow. I have a lot of Kalmia in NC but it is mostly very old and mature ...hard to compare to such a small specimen. The leaves appear whorled and the leaf stems appear longer than those in the unknown's pics but occasionally the leaf arrangement can appear opposite. So, I am on the fence about Kalmia....id is narrowed down to Kalmia vs Ligustrum....time will tell!

    Thank-you for your help!
     
  17. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Next time it is looked at / photographed, let's get a confirmation as to the leaf / branch arrangement.
     

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