Andromeda plumata Bartram ex Marshall
Cyrilla antillana Michx.
Cyrilla brevifolia N.E.Br.
Cyrilla caroliniana Michx.
Cyrilla cubensis P.Wilson
Cyrilla fuscata Raf.
Cyrilla nipensis Urb.
Cyrilla nitidissima Urb.
Cyrilla parvifolia Shuttlew.
Cyrilla perrottetii Briq.
Cyrilla polystachia Raf.
Itea caroliana Lam.
Itea caroliniana Lam.
Itea cyrilla L'Hér.
Itea cyrilla Sw.
Itea floribunda Salisb.
Itea virginica L.
Stachyanthemum schomburgkii Klotzsch
Common Name: Leatherwood
Leatherwood is an evergreen shrub or a tree with a wide, spreading, many-branched crown; it can grow 8 - 15 metres tall. The irregular bole can be 15 - 75cm in diameter. The plant often grows simply as a large shrub, sending up many stems from the roots[
The tree is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of wood. A beautiful tree, especially when bearing its abundant racemes of white flowers, which sometimes are so numerous as almost to prevail over the lustrous dark-green of the foliage[
S. America - Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana; C. America - Panama to Mexico; Caribbean; SE North America - Virginia to Florida and Texas.
Rich shaded river bottoms, the borders of sandy swamps and shallow ponds of the coastal pine-belt[
]. Also found on high, sandy, exposed ridges rising above streams[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Leatherwood has a very wide distribution in the wild, extending southwards from South-eastern North America through central America and the Caribbean to Brazil. Usually a small, evergreen tree, it can become deciduous in colder winters in the north of its range[
]. It grows to its largest dimensions in the cloud forests of Mexico and Puerto Rico, where the mean annual rainfall can exceed 5,500mm[
Requires a sunny position and a humus-rich soil[
]. Thrives in a mixture of peat and loam[
]. Prefers a circum-neutral or slightly acid, moisture-retentive soil[
The flowers are produced at the base of the current years growth[
]. In tropical areas the plant can flower and produce fruit all year round[
The spongy bark at the base of the trunk is pliable, absorbent and astringent. It has been recommended as a styptic, and is said to have a cicratizing effect on wounds[
The whole plant is boiled, and the water used as an anthelmintic[
The trunks of older trees are often hollow, and these are sometimes used as beehives[
The heartwood is brown, tinged with red; the sapwood is a little lighter. Texture is fine and uniform; grain close, but highly interlocked; lustre moderate to low; growth rings distinct; with no discernible taste ot aroma in seasoned wood. The wood is moderately heavy; very hard; not strong; susceptible to dry-wood termites. It takes a very smooth polish. The rate of air-seasoning is very slow, but degrade is exceptionally severe, and shrinkage is very high. Machining characteristics are as follows: planing and resistance to screw splitting are excellent; shaping, turning, boring, and mortising are good; and sanding is fair. An attractive wood, though little use is made of it commercially because of its tendency to warp severely. Its properties would suggest a usefulness in turnery, as for tool-handles, etc.[
]. It is used to make furniture in Cuba[
]. Due to the timber's extremely poor seasoning characteristics, its most satisfactory use is in the green condition and where drying will not take place. It is suitable for buried piling and underwater parts of docks and wharves[
The wood is used for fuel and to produce charcoal[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a nursery seedbed[
]. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots.
Cuttings of softwood[
Cuttings of half-ripe wood[
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