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Common Name: Labrador Tea
Ledum glandulosum is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 1.50 metres tall.
It has edible, medicinal and miscellaneous uses.
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[
Western N. America.
Wet montane meadows and open woods[
Requires a lime-free loam or peaty soil[
]. Prefers a moist humus-rich acid soil in shade or semi-shade[
]. 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[
Hardy to at least -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[
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.
An aromatic tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves[
]. The dried leaves are often mixed with non-aromatic leaves such as comfrey[
]. 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 fresh leaves can be chewed[
The leaves and young flowering shoots re astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, laxative and stomachic[
The leaves are used to repel moths, mice, rats etc[
Seed - surface sow in a shady part of the greenhouse in late winter or early spring[
]. Another report says that the seed is best sown in the autumn as soon as it is ripe[
]. 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[
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel, mid summer in a frame. Plant out in spring. Fair percentage[
Cuttings of mature wood, late autumn in a frame[
Layering in the autumn. Takes 12 months[