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Plant Profile

(Dirca decipiens)

Dirca decipiens growing at Overland Park (KS) Arboretum Photo Credit: Victoria Schoell-Schaefer
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Thymelaeaceae
  • State: AR, KS, MO
  • Nature Serve ID: 843724
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 12/01/2021

Ozark leatherwood is a very rare shrub that grows in the shady understory of oak-hickory forest. Reaching 2-3 m (6-8 ft.) tall, it has branches that are unusually pliable. Its small flowers are produced in late March and early April before the overstory trees leaf out.

Participating Institutions
Jim Locklear
  • 01/15/2018

Lauritzen Gardens is growing a living collection of Ozark leatherwood shrubs in our Conservation Discovery Garden.

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Taxon Dirca decipiens
Authority Floden
Family Thymelaeaceae
CPC Number 44685
Common Names Ozark leatherwood
Associated Scientific Names Dirca decipiens | Dirca palustris
Distribution Ozark leatherwood has a highly fragmented distribution with occurrences in Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri. The largest know population is a colony of several thousand plants that occurs in the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens in Overland Park, Kansas (suburban Kansas City). The handful of other occurrences in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri have much smaller numbers of plants.
State Rank
State State Rank
Arkansas S1?
Kansas S1
Missouri SU

Ozark leatherwood is associated with eastern deciduous forest. The largest colony is found in the Overland Park (KS) Arboretum growing on the north-facing slope above a creek in the understory of oak-hickory forest.

Ecological Relationships

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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