August Plant of the Month: Cyrilla racemiflora – Swamp cyrilla, TiTi, Leatherwood

An uncommon multi-stem shrub for the northeastern United States, Cyrilla racemiflora blooms from mid summer until late summer.

The fragrant white flowers appear along narrow elongated clusters resembling bottlebrushes beneath the current season’s growth.

This shrub has a variable habit – typically open and spreading – ranging in size from 8-15’ in height and width — often forming a dense thicket.

In autumn the glossy, leathery foliage turns attractive shades of orange and red. It is an easy care, trouble-free plant, preferring wet soils but tolerant of well drained or dry soils (mulch well).

Exposure: full sun to partial shade conditions. Suckers can be controlled with annual pruning.

This plant is suitable for use in informal borders, woodland screens, wet sunny spots and as a specimen.

Blooms best in full sun. Native to the southeastern US, from Virginia to Florida, and west to Texas. Handsome specimens are winter hardy as far north as Boston’s Arnold Arboretum. Hardy zones 5-9. Difficult to find commonly in the nursery trade. Available through mail order sources such as

Cyrilla fall
Cyrilla in the Fall season