Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade. Prefers an acidic, organic soil. Can be grown in full sun, but must have good moisture. Does not tolerate drought or windy conditions. Although winter hardy to Zone 5, this shrub should be planted in a protected location and given a good winter mulch in the St. Louis area to insure winter survival.
Leucothoe axillaris is a low-growing, evergreen shrub has a spreading, vase-like shape and will mature slowly to a height of up to 3-4'. Features thick, shiny, dark green leaves and clusters of slightly fragrant, heather-like, white flowers which bloom in May. Leaves turn a purplish-bronze hue in winter. A native plant of the Eastern U.S. from Virginia south.
Genus name honors Leucothoe, one of the many loves of Apollo.
Specific epithet refers to the flower clusters which are born in the leaf axils.
No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot and leaf spot are occasionally problems, however.
This small shrub may be used effectively in the rock garden, border, on slopes, as a foundation plant or as an underplanting for larger shrubs.