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Chamaedaphne calyculata - (L.)Moench.

Common Name Leather Leaf
Family Ericaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards A toxin, called 'andromedotoxin' can be released from the plant if it is infused in boiling water[183]. See notes below regarding use of the plant for tea.
Habitats Peaty swales, bogs, pine barrens, pond margins etc[43].
Range Europe, Asia, N. America.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Chamaedaphne calyculata Leather Leaf


Chamaedaphne calyculata Leather Leaf
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Chamaedaphne calyculata is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in leaf all year, in flower from April to June. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Andromeda calyculata.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Tea

An aromatic tea-like beverage is brewed from the fresh or dried leaves[161, 177, 183, 257]. Some reports say that boiling or steeping can extract a harmful toxin 'andromedotoxin' and it is recommended that the leaves are put in a jar of water and left in a sunny position to brew in order to make 'sun-tea'[183].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antiphlogistic  Febrifuge

A poultice of the leaves has been applied to inflammations[257]. An infusion of the leaves has been used to treat fevers[257].

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Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Thrives in a moist well-drained lime-free soil in sun or semi-shade[1, 200]. Best if given some protection from the midday sun[1]. Plants are hardy to about -25°c[184]. There are some named forms, selected for their ornamental value. 'Nana' is a dwarf compact form that is good for shady areas[183]. The flowers have a delicate refreshing scent[245].

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - sow February in a lime-free compost in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed[78]. Do not allow the compost to dry out and keep the pot in a shady position. Germination is usually fair, taking 1 - 12 months at 15°c, though 4 weeks cold stratification may reduce this time[164]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts[164]. Cuttings of almost ripe side-shoots, 4 - 5cm long with a heel, August in a frame. A variable degree of success[78]. It can help to prune the plants lightly after flowering in order to encourage vigorous growth from which to take the cuttings[78]. Layering in August. Takes 18 months. High percentage[78].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Expert comment

Author

(L.)Moench.

Botanical References

1143200

Links / References

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Subject : Chamaedaphne calyculata  
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