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Dirca palustris L.
Eastern leatherwood, Western leatherwood, Ropebark
Synonym(s): Dirca decipiens, Dirca mexicana
USDA Symbol: dipa9
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
A short, dense shrub, 3-6 ft. tall, with solitary or few short trunks and ascending, candelabra-like branching. Narrow, yellow, bell-shaped flowers hang in pendulous clusters and last a long time. Leaves are dark green in summer, turning a clear yellow for fall.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Flower:
Green, Purple, Red Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
, WV Canada: NB
, ON Native Distribution:
S. Que. to MN,
s. to FL, AL
& OK Native Habitat:
Moist, rich, wooded slopes & bottomlands
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained, organic soils.
Conditions Comments: No serious disease or insect problems. Full sun can stress the plant. Contact with broken wood can cause severe dermatitis.
POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Minor skin irritation when touched, low toxicity if ingested. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea; contact with bark
may cause skin irritation with blisters. Toxic Principle: Resin. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.) Conspicuous Flowers:
PropagationDescription: Seed can be sown outside as soon as it is ripe. The seeds need a cold period of about three months to germinate. Cuttings are difficult to root. Layering offers a method of vegetative reproduction.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
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 either on display or available from the following:
Mt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2012-07-02
Research By: TWC Staff