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Ledum columbianum is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It has edible and medicinal uses.
Western N. America - Washington to California.
Near the coast in wet peaty places and open pine and redwood forests below 1000 metres[
Requires a lime-free loam or peaty soil[
]. Prefers a moist humus-rich acid soil in shade or semi-shade[
]. 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[
Plants are hardy to about -15°c[
The leaves are covered in tiny spots or glands from which a strong, resinous scent is given off[
]. The flowers also have an aromatic perfume[
Very closely related to L. glandulosum[
], and considered to be no more than a sub-species of it by some botanists[
Plants benefit from removing the dead flowers before they set seed[
]. This prevents them putting too much energy into seed production at the expense of more flowers and leaves.
A tea is made from the leaves[
]. 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[
The leaves and young flowering shoots re astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, laxative and stomachic[