Cyrilla racemiflora, the sole species in the genus Cyrilla, is a flowering plant in the family Cyrillaceae, native to warm temperate to tropical regions of the Americas, from the southeastern United States through the Caribbean, Mexico to northern Brazil and Colombia. Common names include Swamp Cyrilla, Titi, and Leatherwood.

For summer flowers and architectural character Cyrilla is one of the best. A mature tree has contorted, and recurved branches that twist outward, weeping to the ground, giving this shrub a graceful and unique form. In mid-summer large, showy, pendulous, racemes of small, white fragrant flowers appear. Depending on how contorted the branches, the stems and leaves can almost be totally hidden behind the floral display. After the flowers turn to seeds in late summer, the raceme turns pale golden brown, persisting through the remainder of the year and is quite attractive. The leaves are a simple, lustrous dark green up to 4 inches long, bright green and turn canary yellow, orange and maroon in fall.

Cyrillas are naturals for lake and streamside plantings. But they also make a good specimen planting, either in a large landscape or small garden and they combine nicely with hollies, viburnums and ornamental grasses. They grow as high as 15 feet (but can reach thirty) with a similar spread in a sprawling form.

It grows in swamps, along streams, bogs, wet prairies, low pinelands, and depressions preferring acid, sandy, or peaty soils. It is often evergreen, but at the upper end of its range, which, in America, is the Mid-Atlantic region, it is deciduous. It does quite well throughout most of the UK., Australia and New Zealand.



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