eastern leatherwood Thymelaeaceae Dirca palustris L. Listen to the Latin symbol: DIPA9 Other Fact Sheets
Leaf: Alternate, simple, deciduous, ovate to elliptical, 2 to 4 inches long, thin, dark glossy green above and paler below, margins entire, initially with fine hairs but becoming glabrous, petioles are very short, fall color pale yellow.
Flower: In pendant clusters of three or fewer, individual flowers with yellow petals fused into a tube; appearing in early Spring with or slightly before the leaves.
Fruit: A small drupe to 1/2 long, green changing white to red at maturity.
Twig: Appearing jointed, flexible, gray-brown to red-brown, very flexible and difficult to snap; buds dark brown with a few fuzzy bud scales; leaf scars U-shaped, nearly encircling the bud.
Bark: Gray-brown and smooth, may develop slight corky ridges.
Form: A spindly shrub to 10 feet but more commonly to 5 feet.

Looks like: spicebush - buffalo nut - blackgum
leaf twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information:
Dirca palustris is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting eastern leatherwood.
External Links:
USDA Plants Database
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Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson
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