Dirca. Dirca palustris L. Leather Wood. (Fam. Thymelceaceae.)—A shrub growing widely in the Northeastern United States. The berries, which are small, ovoid, and of an orange or reddish color, are said to be narcotic and poisonous. The tough bark, in the fresh state, has a peculiar, rather nauseous odor, and an unpleasant acrid taste, and when chewed excites a flow of saliva. It yields its acridity completely to alcohol, but imperfectly to water even by decoction. Six or eight grains of the fresh bark produce violent vomiting, preceded by a sense of heat in the stomach, and often followed by purging. Applied to the skin it slowly excites redness and ultimately vesicates. It is analogous to mezereon in its medicinal as well as botanical characters.
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.