Chamaedaphne

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Chamaedaphne

 

(also Cassandra), a genus of evergreen shrubs of the family Ericaceae. The plants are 17 to 100 cm tall. The leathery leaves and the branchlets are covered on both sides with peltate scales. The flowers are white, gamopetalous, urceolate-campanulate, and drooping; they are gathered in unilateral leafy racemes at the ends of the branches. The fruit is a capsule. The genus has one species—the leatherleaf (C. calyculata) —which grows in Northern Eurasia, North America (as far south as the Allegheny Mountains), and, less commonly, Japan. The leatherleaf is typical of tundras and upstream, mainly sphagnum, swamps; it is also found in damp forests and along rivers and lakes. The leaves and young shoots contain the glycoside andromedotoxin, which is poisonous to sheep and goats.

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White birch Betula papyrifera * * Leatherleaf Chamaedaphne calyculata * Alternate-leaved dogwood Cornus alternifolia * Red-osier dogwood Cornus stolonifera * * Beaked hazelnut Corylus cornuta * Northern bush honeysuckle Diervilla lonicera * Dwarf huckleberry Galussacia dumosa * Sheep laurel Kalmia angustifolia * * Bog laurel Kalmia polifolia * Larch Larix laricina * Labrador tea Ledum groenlandicum * * Northern honeysuckle Lonicera villosa * Sweet gale Myrica gale * Mountain holly Nemopanthus mucronata * * White spruce Picea glauca * * Black spruce Picea mariana * * Cherry Prunus spp.
Associates include Betula pumila, Chamaedaphne calyculata, Thelypteris palustris, Hypericum virginicum, Menyanthes trifoliata, Potentilla palustris, Sarracenia purpurea, Vaccinium macrocarpon, and V.
While characteristically northern species such as Chamaedaphne calyculata, Andromeda glaucophylla, and Carex oligosperma often make "southern outlier peatlands" conspicuous to botanists, studies of such peatlands in New York, New Jersey and southern Michigan have shown a flora exhibiting mixed geographic affinity (Crow 1969; Lynn & Karlin 1985; Karlin & Lynn 1988).