Low rounded deciduous shrubs with soft brittle wood but very tough bark (the name "leatherbark" would be more appropriate). Twigs rounded, glabrous, slender, light brown, or olive, enlarged upwards in each season's growth and swollen at the nodes; pith small, rounded, essentially continuous. Buds dark-silky, small, solitary, sessile, short-conical; terminal bud lacking. Leaf-scars alternate, nearly encircling the bud; bundle-traces 5 or more; stipule-scars none.

1. D, paiustris L. Loatherwood. Shrub 1-2 m. high, with flexible branches and very tough bark; twigs forking, glossy. Rich woods, New Brunswick to Minnesota, south to Florida and Louisiana (Fig. 224).

Fig. 224. Dirca palustris

Fig. 224. Dirca palustris.