Rhododendron groenlandicum

Labrador tea, bog Labrador tea, rusty Labrador tea

Labrador tea is an evergreen shrub growing up to 1.5 m tall. Their distinctive leaves alternate, and are narrow, lance-shaped, and up to 6 cm long. They are leathery in appearance with a dark green upper surface and rusty, hairy under surface. The white flowers grow in umbrella-like clusters, drying into hairy capsules in fall.

This plant was formerly known as Ledum groenlandicum.

Cultural Narrative: 

Labrador tea leaves may be used fresh or dry to make tea. They can also be used in earth oven cooking. The tea can also be taken as a medicine for colds and sore throats.

WARNING: This plant contains toxic alkaloids and should be consumed in moderation.

Location Description: 

Labrador tea grows primarily in boggy wetlands and swampy forests at low to mid elevations, preferring acidic soils.