2. Dirca occidentalis A. Gray, Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts. 8: 631. 1878.
Western leatherwood Western leatherwood
Shrubs to 2 m; branches turning dark brown to red brown, sericeous. Leaves: petiole 3–6 mm, sericeous; blade obovate to broadly ovate, 2–7 × 1–3.5 cm, base rounded, margins ciliate with 6–9 cilia per mm, apex rounded, surfaces sericeous. Inflorescences fasciculate, nodding, (1–)3(–6)-flowered, flowers sessile or subsessile; bracts obovate-oblong, finely white-tan tomentose. Pedicels 0–1 mm, glabrous. Flowers: calyx clear yellow, distinctly (3–)4-lobed, lobes 1–3 mm, margins entire; ovary glabrous. Drupes yellow-green, ovoid, 8–10 mm, glabrous. 2n = 36.
Flowering winter (Nov–Mar); fruiting late spring–summer (May–Jun). Moist slopes in woods; 50–300 m; Calif.
Dirca occidentalis has been found in only six counties in the San Francisco Bay area. The plants prefer north- and northeast-facing slopes and appear to rely on fog for moisture. Leaves are parasitized by an unknown miner.
SELECTED REFERENCE McMinn, H. and B. Forderhase. 1935. Notes on western leatherwood, Dirca occidentalis Gray. Madroño 3: 117–120.