Connecticut Plants
Leatherwood
Dirca palustris L.

Leatherwood gets its name from the fact that the twigs bend but are difficult to break, a result of the fibrous, elastic bark. It is the sole member of the daphne family that is native to eastern U.S.

  • Family: daphne (Thymelaeaceae)
  • Habitat: rich, moist woods
  • Height: 3 to 6 feet
  • Flower size: 3/8 inch long
  • Flower color: pale yellow
  • Flowering time: April
  • Origin: native

Leatherwood blooms before the leaves have fully emerged. Photographed in Berks County, Pennsylvania in mid-April.


Photographed in a garden in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in mid-April.


Photographed in New Haven County in mid-May.


Unripe fruits of leatherwood. When ripe, they are yellow-green. Photographed in New Haven County in mid-May.