This section is from the book "A Guide To The Poisonous Plants And Weed Seeds Of Canada And The Northern United States", by Robert Boyd Thomson, H. B. Sifton. Also available from Amazon: A guide to the poisonous plants and weed seeds of Canada and the northern United States.
The Spurge Laurel, Daphne Mezereum L., is known by a variety of other common names, viz., Mezereon, Lady-laurel, Paradise Plant, Mystery Plant and Dwarf Bay, and contains several poisonous substances. Its bark, leaves and fruit are poison when taken internally, producing burning, vomiting, giddiness and convulsions. Fresh bark soaked in water produces blisters when applied to the skin.
It is a small shrub with oblong, lanceolate leaves, fragrant, rose-purple flowers, and red drupes.
The Leatherwood, Dirca palustris L., known locally as Moosewood, Wicopy, Swampwood, and Rope-bark, produces effects similar to those of Daphne. It is a shrub with yellowish-green branches and oval leaves, two or three inches long. The flowers, blooming in April, are pale yellow and tubular, with the style protruding beyond the stamens.