5 Plants with Leather-Like Leaves

When you're raking the lawn, tending the garden, or on a hike in the woods, you may have encountered perplexing leather leaves and wondered what kind of plant produced them. This article will bring you up to speed on some of the most common leather-like plants in your neighborhood.

American Holly

A favorite of landscaping and holiday decoration, this plant's four-segmented spiny leaves are among nature's most leathery. In most climates, you are unlikely to see holly in the wild, but its decorating popularity makes it a persistent presence. Holly is quite pretty, but be careful—those spines are sharp!

Black Cherry Tree

While its most distinctive features are its tart fruit and scaly bark, this tree's wide flat leaves are especially leather-like.

Chestnut Oak

This tree's curved wavy leaves have a distinctive sheen and leathery texture. It is one of the most common trees int he eastern half of the United States.


This laurel bush is common throughout coolers areas of the northern hemisphere. The texture of its thin oblong leaves have actually earned it the nickname "leatherleaf."


While its distinctive aroma means you shouldn't have a lot of trouble recognizing rosemary, it is the leather-leafed plant you're most likely to encounter in your day-to-day life. Consider using the texture of rosemary as a baseline for recognizing and identifying other leathery leaves.