Click for previous Image Image 1 of 3 Chamaedaphne calyculata Leatherleaf

taken by Russell Stafford at the Arnold Arboretum

Chamaedaphne calyculata


Plant Type:


Chamaedaphne calyculata – Leatherleaf is a less commonly offered member of the Ericaceae. Simple alternate broadly lanceolate evergreen leaves with lighter silvery green undersides tend to stand vertically on gently arching stems form a clean, attractively articulated shrub. The white flowers are typically ericaceous white urns which emerge from leaf axils, dangling in mid to middle/late spring near and at the tips of stems; individual florets are about .25 inches long. It will form a mounding rhizomatous thicket over time. Site in full to part sun planted in fertile acid soil that is constantly moist or at least retains some moisture between rainstorms for best performance. Chamaedaphne calyculata is variable in height and eventually thicket forming. Leatherleaf is generally found in boreal forest bogs in the wild and often the first species to arrive after sphagnum peat moss establishes in these wet situations. It is an easy-going handsome and underutilized shrub. Leatherleaf will be content in moisture retaining soil and will tolerate a fair amount of sun. Cutting grown.


2-5 Ft



Characteristics and Attributes for Chamaedaphne calyculata

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Four Seasons


  • Sun Tolerant
  • Shade Tolerant


  • Foundation
  • Massing
  • Marginal
  • Shrub Border
  • Natural Garden
  • Bog
  • Evergreen
  • Woodland
  • Ground Cover
  • Wildlife Garden

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Medium


  • Moist
  • Acid
  • Fertile
  • Wet


  • Eastern North America

Propagated By

  • Cutting Grown