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Zenobia pulverulenta (W. Bartram ex Willd.) Pollard


KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderEricalesTea, persimmon, blueberry, Brazil nut, azalea, many others
FamilyEricaceaeHeath or heather family
GenusZenobiaFrom Latin Zenobia, from Ancient Greek Ζηνοβία (Zēnobía), name of a third century Queen of Palmyra
SpeciespulverulentaPowdery, dust-covered

About plant names...

Honeycup is native to the southeastern United States.

Plants: This is a shrub, 20-71" (50-180 cm) in height, with red-brown shredding bark.

Leaves: Arranged spirally around stems, ovate to ellliptic, bluish-silverish, glaucous, ¾-2½" (2-7 cm) long. (Some varieties have green leaves.) The leaves have crenate margins, though you have to take a fairly close look to notice them. In the fall, the leaves become brilliant reddish-yellow, then purple.

Flowers: Large clusters of white, bell-shaped flowers. These are similar to those of many related species such as blueberries, but wider and flatter, often almost bowl-shaped, ⅜-⁷/₁₆" (1-1.2 cm) in size. The fragrant flowers emit a scent described by some as “citrus-like and fruity,” the source of the name “honeycup.”

Fruits: A dry five-valved capsule. When they first form, there is a little “antenna” poking from the top of each capsule (part of the flower). This often falls away, leaving a bumpy brown capsule.

Online References:


Discover Life

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center


Zenobia cassinefolia (Vent.) Pollard


Zenobia pulverulenta description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Zenobia pulverulenta (honeycup)

6/22/2017 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 7 × 4½" (18 × 12 cm)

Zenobia pulverulenta (honeycup)

6/22/2017 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 8 × 5" (20 × 13 cm)

Range: Zones 5-9:

About this map...