Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Drooping Leucothoe, Fetterbush, Dog Hobble
Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Girard's Rainbow'

Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Leucothoe (loo-KOH-thoh-ee) (Info)
Species: fontanesiana (fon-tay-nee-zee-AH-na) (Info)
Cultivar: Girard's Rainbow
Additional cultivar information: (aka Rainbow)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is resistant to deer
Flowers are good for cutting

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By darius
Thumbnail #1 of Leucothoe fontanesiana by darius

By darius
Thumbnail #2 of Leucothoe fontanesiana by darius

By lmelling
Thumbnail #3 of Leucothoe fontanesiana by lmelling

By Todd_Boland
Thumbnail #4 of Leucothoe fontanesiana by Todd_Boland

By ericmg01
Thumbnail #5 of Leucothoe fontanesiana by ericmg01

By kniphofia
Thumbnail #6 of Leucothoe fontanesiana by kniphofia

By growin
Thumbnail #7 of Leucothoe fontanesiana by growin

There are a total of 14 photos.
Click here to view them all!


1 positive
5 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral sylvanj On Dec 6, 2013, sylvanj from Kiawah Island, SC wrote:

I haven't grown it in my garden because I believe it's too hot in the low-country, but I enjoy seeing it wild in the piedmont region of sc. I thought I'd just answer the question of the last commenter - When dog hunting for black bears was popular in the Appalachians, bears used to easily run through Leucothoe, the dogs would get stuck in the ropey stems of the thickets and lose the bear - hence the name doghobble

Neutral paani On May 3, 2013, paani from Saint Louis, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

woodspirit1 asked why it's called Dog Hobble. Here is what the ASPCA has to say:

Dog Hobble
Additional Common Names:
Dog Laurel, Fetter Bush, Black Laurel
Scientific Name:
Leucothoe sp.
Toxic to Horses, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Dogs
Toxic Principles:
Clinical Signs:
Vomiting, diarrhea, depression, cardiovascular collapse, hypersalivation, weakness, coma, low blood pressure, death. Ingestion of a few leaves can cause serious problems.

Neutral woodspirit1 On Sep 25, 2012, woodspirit1 from Lake Toxaway, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

These are very attractive plants with leathery shiny leaves. They tend to be the undergrowth in the woods beneath larger plants like wild rhoderdendron or mountain laurel. I have cut branches for arrangements in the past. I am not sure why they are called dog hobble. If anyone knows, please d-mail me.

Neutral diamondpatch On Apr 11, 2006, diamondpatch from kettering northamptonshire
United Kingdom wrote:

found a plant i liked in my local garden centre,Seasons at Burton Latimer in Northants. Just a plant label , but no growing or planting details and we couldn,t find it in our plant books either, but i am sure this is it. Will let you know how i get on with it this year, Diamondpatch

Positive lmelling On Oct 20, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

I am delighted each spring with the pinks, creams, and variety of other shades this plant displays on it's foliage. The petite flowers just add to the list of reasons you should have this plant. Instead of using mine as a foundation plant, I have it presiding over the focal area of one of my backyard gardens. I keep it pruned to about a 2.5' - 3' height and width each spring after it flowers. It takes pruning very well and is quite a hardy little addition. Mine is in a location that gets morning and evening sun (zone 5), but is sheltered from the hot midday sun by pine trees. We have springs running throughout this garden so watering is only necessary during the dryest and hottest of summers, which isn't very often. Although moist, this garden is well drained, being on a slope. Other than pruning, I find it takes very little care, even during the harshest winter.

Deer will browse it - contrary to the note above that lists it as "deer resistant," however, when this happened to me the first winter I had it, I found it will spring back well should one of our 4-legged nemesis find it. I try to keep mine covered with netting during the winter months, which is enough to discourage this activity.

Neutral magnumta On Oct 10, 2004, magnumta from Marietta, GA wrote:

This plant is susceptable to black spot. A spraying of fungicide cures the problem.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Oakland, California
Richmond, California
Stamford, Connecticut
Atlanta, Georgia
Gainesville, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Louisville, Kentucky
Zachary, Louisiana
Baltimore, Maryland
Piedmont, Missouri
Munsonville, New Hampshire
Ithaca, New York
Sayville, New York
Asheville, North Carolina
Davidson, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina
Hayesville, North Carolina
Lake Toxaway, North Carolina
Statesville, North Carolina
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Harmony, Pennsylvania
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Hood, Virginia
Seattle, Washington

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America