Plants to 15 m, often forming dense stands. Leaves: petiole absent or relatively short; blade bluish white abaxially, green adaxially, elliptic to oblanceolate, 2.5–10 × 1.2–1.8 cm, coriaceous, base cuneate, narrowed to petiole, apex acute to obtuse or shallowly emarginate. Flowers fragrant; petals white or pink, 6–8 mm. Fruits 5–7 mm.
Phenology: Flowering Mar–May.
Habitat: Acidic soils in seepage bogs ("hillside bogs," "pitcher-plant bogs"), along blackwater streams, depressions in pine savannas
Elevation: 0-100 m
Ala., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., S.C.
The common name “buckwheat tree” alludes to the resemblance of the fruits with those of Fagopyrum (Polygonaceae). Cliftonia monophylla is a coastal plain endemic that forms dense patches of trees, except in sites that are burned frequently, where it is shrubby.