Chamaedaphne

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Chamaedaphne calyculata
Chamaedaphne cal 060926a.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Chamaedaphne
Moench
Species: C. calyculata
Binomial name
Chamaedaphne calyculata
(L.) Moench
Synonyms

Andromeda calyculata L.[1]

Chamaedaphne calyculata, leatherleaf, is a shrub in the plant family Ericaceae and the only species in the genus Chamaedaphne. It has a wide distribution throughout the cool temperate and subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

It is a low-growing shrub up to 1.5 m tall. The leaves are alternately arranged on the branch and elliptical to oblong shaped, 3–4 cm long, thick and leathery, with minute scales and lighter coloration on the underside, and an entire or irregularly toothed margin. They are evergreen but often turn red-brown in winter. The flowers are small (5–6 mm long), white, and bell-like, produced in panicles up to 12 cm long. The species site is restricted to bogs, where they naturally form large clonal colonies.

The name Chamaedaphne comes from the Greek for "ground laurel"; the common name comes from its tough, leather-like leaf.

Leatherleaf is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Coleophora ledi.

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