Dirca palustris

Eastern Leatherwood

Categories: Shrubs

Leatherwood is a small deciduous shrub that typically grows 4-6' (infrequently to 9') tall. It is native to the forest understory of eastern North America, but is uncommon in most of its ran ge.

More About Dirca palustris

  • very hard to find native of Vermont
  • one of the very earliest of shrubs to bloom in spring
  • also called "shit-um" wood
  • very difficult transplant and move

Bell-shaped, pale lemon-yellow flowers (to 1/4" long) with long yellow stamens bloom in axillary clusters along the branches in early spring (March-April) before the leaves emerge.Twigs are extremely pliable. Native Americans used the twigs and bark for a number of purposes including making bow strings, baskets, fishing line and rope. Some people have allergic reactions to contact with the bark.

We do NOT SHIP plants. ALL Sales are in person at our garden center.


3-8 ft


1-4 ft

Hardiness Zone:


Dirca palustris Characteristics


  • Good for Naturalizing
  • Good for Shady Sites
  • Bog
  • Specimen
  • Native to Northeast

Critter Resistance

  • Rabbit Resistant
  • Deer Resistant


  • Part Sun/Part Shade
  • Shade Tolerant

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Slow

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Early Spring

Soil Moisture Needs

  • Moist

Fall Color

  • Yellow

Flower Color

  • Yellow


  • Upright
  • Spreading