Ledum glandulosum
(Mountain Labrador-tea)

Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Family Description: Heath

Key Characteristics:
Also known as Smooth Labrador-tea or Trapper’s Tea.
  • variable, may be ovate and rounded at base or elliptic-oblong, or elliptic and acute based.
  • Deep green on upper surface, lighter green or gray on lower surface caused by finely mealy, puberulent, and glandular texture.
  • white, 5 separate-petalled, flowers in corymb inflorescence, pedicels puberulent near base, 1-2 cm long;
  • 8-12 stamens exerted beyond style and petals, filaments densely hairy on lower half, unawned anthers open by pores from their tips;
  • pistils of 5 carpels with 5 compartments forming a capsule which dehisces from base upward on the septum between compartments
  • a septicidally dehiscing capsule with 5 compartments

General Description:
Plant an evergreen shrub 0.5-2 meters tall with puberulent, glandular-dotted twigs; revolute, entire- margined, alternately arranged, leaves which are dark green on adaxial surface and light green to grayish on abaxial surface: glandular and puberulent on abaxial surface.

Alberta to Alaska south to Colorado and California, from British Columbia to Montana, central Idaho and northwest Wyoming.

Grows in high mountain bogs.

Tea was made from leaves of the entire genus from the American War of Independence to present. They make the best tea if collected prior to flowering. They contain tannin, gallic acid, wax, resin and salts. They are said to be a tonic, diaphoretic, and pectoral having a pleasant odor and spicy taste. As a wash, they are said to kill lice. It is also said that the leaves will keep away moths if scattered among stored clothing.

Important State References:
No information available at this time
Photos and Information written by Dr. Karl E. Holte,© 2002