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Dirca occidentalis - A.Gray.

Common Name Leather Wood, Western leatherwood
Family Thymelaeaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Moist situations, often on calcareous soils[200].
Range South-western N. America - California..
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Dirca occidentalis Leather Wood, Western leatherwood


Brother Alfred Brousseau @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Dirca occidentalis Leather Wood, Western leatherwood
Brother Alfred Brousseau @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Dirca occidentalis is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.8 m (6ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in March. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

None known

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.



None known

Other Uses

Basketry;  Fibre;  Paper;  String.

The following uses are for the closely related D. palustris, they quite possibly also apply to this species[K]. The tough flexible shoots are used in basket making and as a tying material[1, 11, 43, 46, 95]. A rope can be made from the bark fibres[1, 11, 46, 61]. The bark fibres are also used in making paper[189]. The stems are harvested in summer, the leaves are removed and the stems steamed until the fibres can be stripped. The outer and inner barks are separated by scraping or peeling. The fibres are cooked for 2 hours or less with soda ash and then beaten with mallets or put through a blender. The paper is greenish cream in colour[189].

Cultivation details

Thrives in a moist peaty soil[1, 11] and a sheltered position[175]. Prefers a reasonably moist humus-rich limy soil according to another report[182]. The flowers are produced in early spring and they are often damaged by frost[1, 200].

Propagation

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[113]. Remove the fruit flesh since this can inhibit germination[113]. Dried seed will require 2 - 3 months cold stratification[113]. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 6 months at 15°c[175]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the 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. Layering.

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 :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Dirca palustrisLeather Wood, Eastern leatherwood02

 

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Author

A.Gray.

Botanical References

11200

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Subject : Dirca occidentalis  
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