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Plant Details

Litsea aestivalis

Pondspice

Scientific Name:

Litsea aestivalis

Genus:

Litsea

Species Epithet:

aestivalis

Common Name:

Pondspice

Plant Type

Shrub

Life Cycle

Perennial

Plant Family

Lauraceae (Laurel Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Size:

12-36 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

Yellow

Light:

Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Moist, Wet

Bloom Time:

March, April

Growing Area:

Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

Margins of limesink ponds and Carolina bays, less commonly in wet depressions dominated by shrubs (Weakley 2015). Rare in NC Coastal Plain.

Leaf Arrangement:

Alternate

Leaf Retention:

Deciduous

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Simple

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Wildlife Value:

Has some wildlife value

Landscape Value:

Not Recommended for home landscapes

State Rank:

S2: Imperiled, S3: Vulnerable (*Key)

Global Rank:

G_?: Uncertain (add status to NOTES section) (*Key)

State Status:

SC-V: Special Concern: Vulnerable (*Key)

Federal Status:

FSC - Federal Special Concern (*Key)

Notes:

"The fine, zigzag twigs are distinctive. It grows to 6 m tall, characteristically forming a rounded bush. A Southeastern Coastal Plain endemic." (Weakley 2015)
NC Natural Heritage Program NC Rank: S2S3; Global Rank: G3?

In spring

Rare and endemic to the Southeast Coastal Plain, Pondspice may also be at risk from Laurel Wilt, an exotic disease threatening plants in the Laurel family. The zigzag pattern of branching is a good identification mark.

image

Paynter, April 2013

In bloom

image

Paynter, April 2013

Close-up of the flowers

image

In fall

image

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record


Bird-Friendly Native Plants



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