Rhododendron groenlandicum

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Rhododendron groenlandicum
Rhododendron groenlandicum.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Rhododendron
Subgenus: Rhododendron
Section: Rhododendron
Subsection: Ledum
Species: R. groenlandicum
Binomial name
Rhododendron groenlandicum
(Oeder) Kron & Judd
Synonyms[1]
  • Ledum groenlandicum Oeder
  • Ledum palustre subsp. groenlandicum (Oeder) Hultén

Rhododendron groenlandicum (bog Labrador tea, formerly Ledum groenlandicum or Ledum latifolium),[2] is a flowering shrub with white flowers and evergreen leaves that is used to make a herbal tea.

It is a low shrub growing to 50 centimetres (20 in) (rarely up to 2 metres (6 ft 7 in)) tall with evergreen leaves 20–60 millimetres (0.79–2.36 in) long and 3–15 millimetres (0.12–0.59 in) broad. The leaves are wrinkled on top, densely hairy white to red-brown underneath, and have a leathery texture, curling at the edges. The tiny white flowers grow in hemispherical clusters and are very fragrant and sticky.[3]

Ledum latifolium drawn by William Miller

It is reported from Greenland, as well as from every province and territory in Canada and in the northeastern and northwestern United States (New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Alaska). It grows in bogs and on wet shores, and sometimes on rocky alpine slopes.[4]

It is often used as a spice in dishes containing wild game. It is also used as flavoring in distilled spirits.[citation needed]

For its traditional uses in herbal medicine, see Labrador tea.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rhododendron groenlandicum (Oeder) Kron & Judd". Tropicos. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ Kron, Kathleen Anne; Judd (1990). "Phylogenetic Relationships within the Rhodoreae (Ericaceae) with Specific Comments on the Placement of Ledum". Systematic Botany. 15 (1): 67. doi:10.2307/2419016. 
  3. ^ Peterson, R. T. and McKenny, M. A Field Guide to Wildflowers Northeastern and North-central North America.
  4. ^ "Rhododendron groenlandicum". Systematic Botany. Flora of North America. 8: 460. 1990. 

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