Highland Doghobble Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rollissonii'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
dog hobble 'Rollissonii'


Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rollissonii', commonly known as the Drooping Leucothoe, is an evergreen shrub notable for its cascade of glossy, dark green leaves. The leaves have a slightly elongated and lance-shaped appearance, with finely toothed margins that add a delicate texture to the foliage. In the spring, the Drooping Leucothoe produces clusters of small, urn-shaped flowers that dangle from the stems. The flowers are typically white or pale pink and add a subtle, yet charming appeal to the shrub. As the seasons change, the foliage of this plant can transform, taking on a purple or bronze hue, providing a striking contrast and adding winter interest to the landscape. This plant is appreciated for its graceful, arching form and the elegance it brings to shady garden areas.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Highland Doghobble, Drooping Leucothoe, Fetterbush, Switch Ivy, Mountain Doghobble

    • Common names

      Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rollissonii'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant commonly known as Drooping Leucothoe is considered to be toxic to humans. If ingested, parts of the plant can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In particular, it contains grayanotoxins, which can affect the heart and lead to cardiac symptoms if consumed in large enough quantities. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if ingestion is suspected.

    • To pets

      Drooping Leucothoe is also toxic to pets, particularly cats and dogs. Ingesting this plant can lead to symptoms similar to those in humans, which include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Due to the presence of grayanotoxins, more severe symptoms such as drooling, weakness, and potential cardiac issues could also occur. It is crucial to contact a veterinarian right away if your pet has consumed any part of this plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters)

    • Spread

      3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Southeastern United States


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rollissonii', commonly known as Dog Hobble, has cascading, evergreen foliage that adds aesthetic value to gardens and landscapes throughout the year.
    • Shade Tolerance: Dog Hobble thrives in shaded areas where other plants may not grow as well, making it ideal for woodland gardens or shaded borders.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, this plant requires minimal care, making it a good choice for gardeners with limited time.
    • Soil Adaptability: It is adaptable to a range of soil conditions, though it prefers acidic, well-drained soils, accommodating various garden environments.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The flowers of Dog Hobble attract pollinators like bees, while the dense foliage provides shelter for birds and small wildlife.
    • Seasonal Interest: The plant offers year-round interest with its white-to-pinkish spring flowers, glossy summer leaves, and in some climates, purple-to-red fall foliage.
    • Erosion Control: Dog Hobble can be used on slopes or areas prone to erosion due to its spreading nature and ability to form a dense ground cover.
    • Naturalizing: It can create a natural forest understory look, which is ideal for gardens aimed at mimicking natural habitats.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rollissonii', commonly known as Doghobble, can be used in terrariums due to its relatively compact size and attractive foliage, creating a miniature forested landscape.
    • Doghobble's dense growth habit makes it suitable for use as a privacy screen or hedge in shady garden areas where other plants may struggle to thrive.
    • The plant can be utilized in thematic gardens such as fairy or fantasy gardens because of its arching branches and evergreen leaves that provide a whimsical backdrop.
    • Doghobble's wood may be used in small-scale woodworking or for crafting purposes, such as making decorative items or small tools, due to its firmness and durability.
    • Due to its resistance to heavy shade and acidic soils, it can be planted on sloped areas for erosion control, helping to stabilize the soil and prevent landslides.
    • Its interesting texture and leaf colors make Doghobble a great candidate for artistic photography, especially within woodland garden settings.
    • The plant can serve as a backdrop in cut flower arrangements, with its evergreen foliage providing contrast to seasonal blooms.
    • It can be used in educational settings such as schools and botanical gardens to teach about native plant species and their ecological importance in forest understories.
    • Doghobble's branches may be collected and used to create naturalistic wreaths and other decorations for events or festivals, especially in the winter months when options are limited.
    • The tough, leathery leaves of Doghobble could be employed as a natural mulch, decomposing slowly and providing nutrients to the soil over time.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant_name is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant_name is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Adaptability: Leucothoe (common name) thrives in various conditions, symbolizing the ability to adapt to diverse environments and situations.
    • Resilience: With its strong root system and evergreen nature, Leucothoe represents resilience and the capacity to endure challenges over time.
    • Transformation: Leucothoe's seasonal color transformation from green to reds and purples reflects change and personal growth.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Leucothoe plant, commonly known as Drooping Leucothoe or Dog Hobble, requires regular watering to maintain consistently moist soil, particularly during dry spells in the growing season. Generally, it is advisable to water this plant with about 1 inch of water per week, increasing to 1.5 inches during periods of high heat or drought. While watering, aim to apply water directly to the soil, avoiding wetting the foliage which can lead to fungal issues. In the winter, water less frequently, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings.

  • sunLight

    Drooping Leucothoe thrives best in partial to full shade. It should be planted in a location that receives dappled sunlight or light shade throughout the day, avoiding direct intense afternoon sun which can scorch the leaves. An ideal spot would be under the canopy of taller trees or on the north side of a building where it will receive sufficient light without being subjected to harsh sun exposure.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Drooping Leucothoe prefers a cool to moderate climate and can survive in temperatures that range between 0 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter and around 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It is cold hardy and can tolerate freezing temperatures for short periods but should be protected from extreme cold winds and frost.

  • scissorsPruning

    Drooping Leucothoe benefits from occasional pruning to remove dead or damaged branches and to maintain a desired shape. The best time to prune this plant is immediately after it has finished flowering in the spring. Moderate pruning once a year is usually sufficient, but always ensure to cut just above a set of leaves to encourage healthy new growth.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rollissonii', commonly known as Highland Doghobble, is a well-draining, acidic soil with a pH between 4.5 and 6.0. A mixture of peat moss, pine bark, and perlite or coarse sand is suitable to ensure proper drainage and maintain the necessary acidity.

  • plantRepotting

    Highland Doghobble should be repotted every 2-3 years or when it becomes root-bound. It's best to repot in the spring, just before the growing season begins, using an acidic soil mix.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Highland Doghobble thrives in moderate to high humidity levels, ideally between 50-70%. This plant prefers a moist atmosphere similar to its native woodland habitat.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Keep in bright, indirect light and maintain high humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Filtered sunlight, sheltered spot, moist acidic soil, mulch well.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rollissonii', commonly known as Highland Doghobble, begins its life cycle with seed germination, typically in a moist, well-drained soil with partial to full shade. After germination, the plant enters a vegetative state, developing a dense, evergreen shrub form with arching stems and lance-shaped leaves. Throughout the spring, it progresses to the flowering stage, blooming with clusters of small, bell-shaped, white flowers. After pollination, these flowers give way to the fruiting stage, producing seed capsules that eventually dry and release seeds, thus completing the cycle. As the plant matures, it continues to grow and spread, sometimes by rooting where the stems touch the ground. The plant has a perennial life cycle, with individual shrubs living several years, during which time they will repeatedly go through these stages.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method for propagating the Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rollissonii', also known as the Highland Doghobble, is through semi-hardwood cuttings. This is usually done in the late summer. To propagate, a gardener should select a healthy semi-hardwood stem that has matured after the spring growth flush. A cutting of about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) is snipped just below a leaf node, and the lower leaves are removed. The cut end can then be treated with a rooting hormone to encourage root development and planted in a well-draining soil mixture. Keeping the cutting in a humid environment and ensuring that the soil stays consistently moist but not waterlogged facilitates the rooting process, which typically takes several weeks to a few months.