Leatherwood is an under-used native shrub with small yellow flowers in early spring and good yellow color in autumn. This plant is difficult to find in commercial nurseries.
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Chicago area
- North America
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Zone 8
- Zone 9
- Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Wet sites
- Occasional flooding
- Road salt
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Wet soil
- Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
- Small shrub (3-5 feet)
- Mixed border
- Early spring
- Early fall
- Mid fall
Size and Form
5 to 8 feet high and 4 to 8 feet wide; rounded form.
Tree & Plant Care
Protect this plant from the wind.
Requires moist to wet site; avoid dry areas.
Partial to full shade needed.
Disease, pests and problems
No serious pests
Native geographic location and habitat
Found primarily in wet, shady sites.
Bark color and texture
Bark is brown, turning gray and developing raised lenticels.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple, alternate , light green leaves; 1 to 3 inches long with an un-toothed margin.
Leaf out early in spring.
Fall color is a clear yellow.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Small, yellow tubular flowers in very early spring.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Small, red, berry-like fruit (drupe); not showy.