Chamaedaphne

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Related to Leather leaf: leatherleaf fern

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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