ERICACEAE, The Heath family
Glossy drooping leaves, horizontal spreading habit, these evergreen shrubs are really lovely and different. They have colorful new growth and intensified winter color- usually burgundy, bronze to plum. The bell-shaped white flowers hang from the arching stems in spring. Native to the southeastern U.S, they like partial shade, but can tolerate full shade in hot climates and full sun here in Portland.
Another nice Leucothoe is L. walteri ‘Scarletta’, which is slightly smaller then the above, at 2 feet high and 4 feet wide. The leaves unfold bright red, are a rich green in summer and turn burgundy when temperatures drop.
I used a gallon pot of L. ‘Scarletta’ in an autumn themed container planting, with Heuchera ‘CrÃ¨me Brule,’ ruffled dark purple kale, Carex ‘Toffee twist,’ Dichronda ‘Silver Falls,’ all beneath a ‘Black Lace’ Elderberry shrub in a dark turquoise planter.