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Chamaedaphne calyculata

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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

Height: 2'-4'

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

Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf)
  • Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf)
  • Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf)
  • Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf)
  • Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf)

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Description

Chamaedaphne calyculata

Also known as:

leatherleaf

,

Cassandra

Scientific Synonyms:

Cassandra calyculata

Description

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.

Cultivation

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

Propagation

Propagate by separating offshoots from mature plants in fall. To propagate from seed, sow in a mixture in peat moss and keep consistently moist.

Additional Notes

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

Native Range:
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

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Dilleniidae
Order Ericales
Family Ericaceae Heath family
Genus Chamaedaphne leatherleaf
Species Chamaedaphne calyculata leatherleaf