Common Name: Leather Wood
Dirca occidentalis is an erect, deciduous shrub that can grow up to 180cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of materials. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental.
South-western N. America - central California..
Moist situations, often on calcareous soils[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Thrives in a moist peaty soil[
] and a sheltered position[
]. Prefers a reasonably moist humus-rich limy soil according to another report[
The flowers are produced in early spring and they are often damaged by frost[
The strong, tough, fibrous bark can be used for making ropes, nets, and baskets[
]. It was at one time much used by the native N. Americans[
Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[
]. Remove the fruit flesh since this can inhibit germination[
]. Dried seed will require 2 - 3 months cold stratification[
]. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 6 months at 15°c[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.