E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Chamaedaphne calyculata (L.) Moench
leatherleaf (cassandra)
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #26113)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Chamaedaphne calyculata
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Species Information

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Low shrub; stems erect, branching, mostly 20-60 cm tall, short white-hairy, sometimes scaly.
Evergreen, alternate, leathery, oblanceolate to oblong or elliptic, rounded to blunt at tip, pointed at base, 0.7-5 cm long, 0.3-1.5 cm wide, finely sharp-toothed, flat or margins rolled under, scaly-hairy.
In one-sided leafy terminal racemes; flower stalks 1-4 mm long, straight, with 2 bracts at the base of the calyx; corollas white, essentially cylindric with slightly narrowed throat, 4.5-7 mm long; sepals 5, 2-3 mm long, scurfy-hairy.
Capsules, depressed globe-shaped, 3-5 mm wide, equaled or surpassed by the sepals.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Peat bogs in the montane zone; infrequent in NE BC; N to AK, YT, and NT, E to NF and NB, and S to IA, OH, and GA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Chamaedaphne calyculata

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 320 521 1435
Slope Gradient (%) 0 1 88
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 20 20
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 6 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(53), CMA(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Cassandra calyculata var. angustifolia (Aiton) Seymour
Cassandra calyculata var. latifolia (Aiton) Seymour
Chamaedaphne calyculata var. angustifolia (Aiton) Rehder
Chamaedaphne calyculata var. latifolia (Aiton) Fernald
Chamaedaphne calyculata var. nana (Lodd.) E. Busch

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References