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  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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Chamaedaphne calyculata Leather Leaf

Chamaedaphne calyculata Leather Leaf
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 12-Jan It is in flower from Apr to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are 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.

Andromeda calyculata.

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].


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].
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
Found In
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 :
Related Plants


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Subject : Chamaedaphne calyculata  

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