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Ledum columbianum - Piper.

Common Name Labrador tea
Family Ericaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards Plants contain a narcotic toxin called Ledel. This toxin only causes problems if the leaves are cooked for a long period in a closed container[172].
Habitats Near the coast in wet peaty places and open pine and redwood forests below 1000 metres[184].
Range Western N. America - Washington to California.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Ledum columbianum Labrador tea


Ledum columbianum Labrador tea

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Ledum columbianum is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). It is in leaf all year, in flower in May. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

L. glandulosum columbianum. (Piper.)Hitchk.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

A tea is made from the leaves[172, 257]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. It would be better to brew the tea in cold water by leaving it in a sunny place, or to make sure that it is brewed for a short time only in an open container. The leaves are used as a flavouring, they are a bayleaf substitute[172].

Medicinal Uses



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Astringent;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Laxative;  Stomachic.

The leaves and young flowering shoots re astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, laxative and stomachic[172].

Other Uses

Repellent.

The leaves are used to repel moths, mice, rats etc[172].

Cultivation details

Requires a lime-free loam or peaty soil[1, 11]. Prefers a moist humus-rich acid soil in shade or semi-shade[200]. Plants grow better if they have certain fungal associations in the soil. The best way of providing this is to incorporate some soil from around well-growing established plants into the soil for the new plant[200]. Plants are hardy to about -15°c[200]. The leaves are covered in tiny spots or glands from which a strong, resinous scent is given off[245]. The flowers also have an aromatic perfume[245]. Very closely related to L. glandulosum[1], and considered to be no more than a sub-species of it by some botanists[200]. Plants benefit from removing the dead flowers before they set seed[188]. This prevents them putting too much energy into seed production at the expense of more flowers and leaves.

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Propagation

Seed - surface sow in a shady part of the greenhouse in February or March[78, 113]. Another report says that the seed is best sown in the autumn as soon as it is ripe[188]. Germination is variable and can be quite slow. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow the pots on in a shady frame for 18 months before planting them out into their permanent positions[78]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Plant out in spring. Fair percentage[78]. Cuttings of mature wood, November/December in a frame[113]. Layering in the autumn. Takes 12 months[78]. Division.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Ledum glandulosumLabrador Tea, Western Labrador tea21
Ledum groenlandicumLabrador Tea, Bog Labrador tea23
Ledum palustreWild Rosemary, Marsh Labrador tea23

 

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Piper.

Botanical References

1160200

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Subject : Ledum columbianum  
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