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Chamaedaphne calyculata (Linnaeus) Moench. Leatherleaf, Cassandra. Phen: (Feb-) Mar-Apr; Jun-Oct. Hab: Pocosins in the Coastal Plain, bogs in the Mountains, Chamaecyparis bogs, wet pine flatwood ecotones, other saturated, acid, peaty or peaty/sandy situations. Dist: Circumboreal; in North America from NL (Newfoundland) to AB, south to WV (Tucker County) (T.F. Wieboldt, pers.comm., 2007; Vanderhorst et al. 2019; where possibly introduced), MD, OH, n. IL, WI, n. IA, AB, and BC; disjunct to the mountains of NC (where now nearly extirpated, known only from a single bog of less than 1 hectare) and to the Coastal Plain of NC and ne. SC. The Coastal Plain occurrences in NC and SC are mainly in the centers of large peat dome or Carolina Bay pocosins, the insufficiently famous southern blanket bogs or "southern muskeg." In these areas, Chamaedaphne is sometimes dominant (or codominant with Zenobia pulverulenta or Sarracenia flava) over expanses of 25 square kilometers. The southern occurrences of Chamaedaphne are certainly the result of Pleistocene distributions.

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Taxonomy Comments: A number of varieties have been named (the Eurasian var. calyculata, var. latifolia in Maritime Canada south to n. New England, and var. angustifolia, to which our material would presumably be referred). The validity of the varieties is doubtful (pending more careful study), and for now we regard this as a species lacking taxonomically recognizable varieties.

Synonymy: = C, FNA8, G, K1, K3, K4, NE, NY, S, Tat, W, Luteyn et al (1996); = Cassandra calyculata (L.) D.Don – GW2, RAB; > Chamaedaphne calyculata (L.) Moench var. angustifolia (Aiton) Rehder – F, Il, Pa; > Chamaedaphne calyculata (L.) Moench var. latifolia (Aiton) Fernald – F

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: OBL
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: OBL
  • Great Plains: OBL
  • Midwest: OBL
  • Northcentral & Northeast: OBL

Heliophily: 7

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image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Emily Oglesby | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Emily Oglesby | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷

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