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NPIN: Native Plant Database

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Chamaedaphne calyculata (Leatherleaf)
Bloodworth, Stefan

Chamaedaphne calyculata

Chamaedaphne calyculata (L.) Moench

Leatherleaf

Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Synonym(s): Cassandra calyculata var. angustifolia, Cassandra calyculata var. latifolia, Chamaedaphne calyculata var. angustifolia, Chamaedaphne calyculata var. latifolia, Chamaedaphne calyculata var. nana

USDA Symbol: chca2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

A small, dense, mound-shaped shrub, to 3 ft. high, often spreading to form thickets. Leaves are dull, leathery, dark green and oval, becoming progressively smaller toward twig end. Foliage become purplish through the winter. Small, white, nodding, bell-shaped flowers hang from upper leaf axils. Round, reddish capsules follow, eventually turning brown and persisting several years.

One of the many evergreen members of the heath family, this species also occurs in Asia; it is typical of boggy wetlands and highly acidic sites. In Massachusetts, Leatherleaf colonies can expand radially at the rate of one foot per decade. The genus name is from the Greek chamai (on the ground) and daphne (laurel).

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf: Yellow-Green
Flower:
Fruit: Brown
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May

Distribution

USA: AK , CT , DE , IL , IN , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , VT , WI
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Lab. to AK, s. to DE, OH, n.w. IL, n. MN, c. Sask. & B.C.; also NC mts.
Native Habitat: Bogs; peaty swamps; wet meadows

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Fine, wet peats, mucks & sands.
Conditions Comments: Slow-growing and short-lived with no serious disease, insect or physiological problems. Plants in the extreme n.e. part of the range have much broader leaves and are distinguished as var. latifolia.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Low
Warning: Plant poisonous
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

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National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: OBL FACW OBL OBL OBL OBL
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Additional resources

USDA: Find Chamaedaphne calyculata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Chamaedaphne calyculata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Chamaedaphne calyculata

Metadata

Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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