Shrubs, to 2.5(-5) m. Stems erect to arching, usually sharply 3-angled. Leaves persistent; blade narrowly to widely elliptic, obovate, or slightly ovate, 1-8.5(-10.5) × 0.5-4.5(-5.5) cm, rigidly coriaceous, base attenuate or cuneate to rounded, margins entire, usually revolute, apex acuminate to acute, rarely rounded, surfaces scattered, multicellular, glandular short-headed-hairy, not lepidote, otherwise glabrous or hairy on midvein adaxially, intramarginal vein present. Inflorescences fascicles, developing from buds along distal portion of stems of previous year; bracts 1 per flower, linear-lanceolate, to 4 mm. Pedicels glandular-hairy, not lepidote. Flowers: calyx lobes 2-7.5 × 1-2 mm, glandular-hairy, not lepidote; corolla usually pink, sometimes white or red, cylindric (base swollen), 5-9 × 2-5 mm; filaments 3-5 mm, roughened, with 2 well-developed spurs. Capsules ovoid to ovoid- globose, 3-5 × 3-5 mm, apex slightly constricted, glabrous or short-headed-hairy; sutures usually remaining attached to adjacent valve; placentae central to nearly basal. 2n = 24. Flowering early spring-spring. Moist, acid, pine flatwoods and savannas, streamhead pocosins and baygalls, acid blackwater swamps, shrub bogs and peat-based pocosins, pond margins; 0-200 m; Ala., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., N.C., S.C., Va.; West Indies (Cuba). Lyonia lucida is occasionally used as an ornamental; it is most closely related to L. mariana. The Cuban populations tend to have slightly longer and more densely hairy calyx lobes than do those of the southeastern United States.
Evergreen shrub to 2 m; lvs leathery, glossy, elliptic to narrowly obovate, 3-7 cm, acute or abruptly acuminate, entire, with a distinct intramarginal vein; petioles 2-5 mm; sep oblong, 3-5 mm, persistent; cor 7-9 mm; stamens with a pair of ±well developed spurs near the junction of the anther and filament; fr subglobose or depressed, 5 mm thick; 2n=24. Wet woods; se. Va. to Fla. and La. May. (L. nitida; Neopieris n.; Desmothamnus l.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.