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Ledum glandulosum - Nutt.

Common Name Labrador Tea, Western 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 Wet montane meadows and open woods[60].
Range Western N. America.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Ledum glandulosum Labrador Tea, Western Labrador tea


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Wsiegmund
Ledum glandulosum Labrador Tea, Western Labrador tea
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Wsiegmund

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Ledum glandulosum is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1.5 m (5ft). 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: mildly acid soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Plant Habitats

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

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves
Edible Uses: Condiment  Tea

An aromatic tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves[172, 183, 257]. The dried leaves are often mixed with non-aromatic leaves such as comfrey[183]. 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]. The fresh leaves can be chewed[183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Astringent  Diaphoretic  Diuretic  Laxative  Stomachic

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

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Repellent

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

Special Uses

Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

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 flower more freely when grown in a sunny position. 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]. Hardy to at least -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]. 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.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant 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

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 NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Ledum columbianumLabrador teaShrub1.0 0-0  LMHFSM211
Ledum groenlandicumLabrador Tea, Bog Labrador teaShrub1.5 0-0  LMHFSNMWe232
Ledum palustreWild Rosemary, Marsh Labrador teaShrub1.0 0-0  LMHFSNMWe232

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

Nutt.

Botanical References

1160200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

mootube   Thu May 7 2009

Labrador tea* (Ledum glandulosum) Found in bogs, swamps and moist boreal woods, this dominant, fragrant shrub is famous as an excellent tea despite the fact that it contains a narcotic toxin called Ledel (or Ledol). The tea, high in vitamin C, can be brewed to varying strengths for different purposes. In its weak form it is best for drinking, and was used by different indigenous Canadian groups for both stimulation and relaxation. When brewed for long periods, it is useful for medicinal purposes with external application, mainly to treat various skin conditionsand as a wash for lice. The Labrador tea plant is also utilized as a food flavouring and as an essential oil in aromatherapy. The leaves can be crushed and then blended with alcohol and glycerine to be used as an effective insect repellent. The leaves can also be used to create a “head” on beer. Source: ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/011/i0641e/i0641e03.pdf

BOREAL FORESTS Google's cached html version, highlighted.

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