Virginia Tech Dendrology

leatherleaf Ericaceae Chamaedaphne calyculata (L.) Moench Listen to the Latin symbol: CHCA2
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, leathery, elliptical to broadly lanceolate, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, entire or slightly toothed, dark green with white or brown scales, much paler below, often pointing upward from stem.
Flower: Small, white urn-shaped flowers, occurring in a long (3 to 5 inch), leafy cluster from branch tips, each hangs from a leaf axil, appearing in later spring. Leaves on flower clusters much smaller than typical foliage.
Fruit: Round capsule, 1/4 inch in diameter, ripen in late summer, persistent.
Twig: Slender, reddish brown to gray; buds small, brown.
Bark: Smooth reddish gray.
Form: Small, spreading shrub to 5 feet, forming very dense thickets. Leaves distinctly pointing upward.
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Chamaedaphne calyculata is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting leatherleaf.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson