Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Evergreens
Light Requirements: sun, part-sun
Water Use: medium, high
Soil Moisture: moist, wet
Soil Description: acid, neutral, rich, average, poor, loam, clay, sand
Bloom Time: April, May
Bloom Color: white
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Additional Tags: bog plant, evergreen, fragrant plant, pond margin plant, stream margin plant, swamp plant
Pricing & Availability
Chamaedaphne calyculataAlso known as:
Leather leaf is a dwarf, evergreen, fragrant member of the Heath family which includes laurels. It is low and compact, rarely exceeding 4' tall. The spear-shaped leaves are leathery and green, turning shades of purple and bronze in winter. The white, bell-shaped flowers appear along the stems' extremities, and give way to reddish- brown seed capsules that can persist on the plant for several seasons.
Chamaedaphne calyculata is a circumboreal species, found widely in Alaska and Canada, with occasional native populations found as far south as the mid-Atlantic. This is a bog plant, adapted to having wet feet, and does best in nutrient poor, highly acidic, poorly drained soil. It can be grown in drier conditions, so long as it is kept consistently moist. It requires full sun, but light shade is recommended in the warmer limits of its natural range. Extremely hardy, leatherleaf will often bloom before the snow has completely melted; March in the south, as late as June or July closer to the Arctic circle. Zones 2-8
Propagate by separating offshoots from mature plants in fall. To propagate from seed, sow in a mixture in peat moss and keep consistently moist.
The genus name Chamaedaphne is derived from the Greek chamai, meaning "on the ground", and daphne, meaning "laurel".
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
CT, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, VT, WI
USDA Endangered Status:
- Threatened: IL, MD