Leatherwood Dirca palustris
This is a unique shrub usually found in hardwood forests.
Even though they usually just grow to about shoulder height, a
mature plant often has the form of a much larger tree. Its bark
is what gives it its name; it is very tough and living twigs can
actually be tied in a knot without breaking the branch. It also
has distinctive leaf scars, which circle the buds.
Leatherwood end bud, with the leaf scar circling it
Another view of the characteristic leaf scar
Winter twig. The circling leaf scars give the branch a "jointed" look
Leatherwood can be tied in a knot while still living; the bark is extremely tough.
Typical branching of Leatherwood
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© 2008 Josh Sayers
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