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This deciduous tree stays under 30 ft., and, though it looks shrubby for several years, eventually makes a slender tree with smooth, cinnamon-colored trunks; abundant, showy, whorled clusters of airy, white blooms; and dark-green leaves. In the northern part of its range, the leaves turn rust-red in fall, dropping in spring just as the new leaves unfurl. Farther south, plants are nearly evergreen. Summer fruits are yellow-brown.
Native from southeastern North America south through Central America and the West Indies to northeastern South America. This one was photographed in a wet area adjacent to a beaver pond at Henderson Heritage Preserve in Aiken County, SC.
It is also called Titi, Leatherwood, and Swamp cyrilla.