Image for Leather Leaf

Leather Leaf

Scientific name

Chamaedaphne calyculata


The Leather Leaf is a dwarf, evergreen shrub that grows about 1 m in height and produces leathery leaves, hence the common name. This shrub has numerous, erect, thin branches arising from the plant base or main stalk. Leaves produced are alternately arranged, elliptic shaped, 4 cm long, green on the top, with a light green to yellow underside. The bottom of the leaves also have white or brownish scales, which give off an aromatic fragrance. This shrub retains its leaves all year, during the winter the leaves turn a reddish-brown colour. Tiny, white, bell-shaped flowers appear in clusters at the branch tips from May to early June. Fruit capsules of the Leather Leaf are 2.5 mm long, five-chambered, spherical-shaped, and are produced from its flowering bodies during the fall. These chambers open during the winter to release the seeds.

Planting conditions

Leather Leaf grows well in wet or moist conditions with full or partial sun exposure. It prefers poorly drained, acidic, sandy or loam soil types. It is most commonly found in bogs, swamps/marshes, or along wet shorelines.


  • Plant height:
    • Max 1.5m
    • Max 2m
    • Max 3m
    • Any
  • Moisture level:
    • Moist
    • Wet
    • Flood Tolerant
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
    • Humus
  • pH:
    • Acidic
  • Depth:
    • Potted
    • Bareroot
  • Eco Zone:
    • 0a
    • 0b
    • 1a
    • 1b
    • 2a
    • 2b
    • 3a
    • 3b
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
    • 6b
  • Plant type:
    • Shrub
  • Height:
    • 1 m
  • Spread:
    • 1 m