- Marsh Labrador Tea
Taxobox | name = Marsh Labrador Tea
image_width = 240px
image_caption = "R. tomentosum" in flower
genus = "
subsectio = "
species = "R. tomentosum"
binomial = "Rhododendron tomentosum"
binomial_authority = Harmaja
Marsh Labrador Tea, Northern Labrador Tea or Wild Rosemary ("Rhododendron tomentosum", formerly "Ledum palustre"), is a
flowering plantin the subsection " Ledum" of the large genus " Rhododendron" in the family Ericaceae. It is a low shrubgrowing to 50 cm (rarely up to 120 cm) tall with evergreenleaves 12-50 mm long and 2-12 mm broad. The flowers are small, with a five-lobed white corolla, and produced several together in a corymb3-5 cm diameter. They emit strong smell to attract beesand other pollinating insects.
In North America it is found growing in northern latitudes in
Greenland, Canada, and Alaska, in Europesouth to Germany, and in Asiasouth to northern China, Koreaand Japan. It grows in peaty soils, shrubby areas, moss and lichen tundra.
All parts of the plant contain poisonous
terpenesthat affect central nervous system, causing aggressive behaviourFact|date=February 2008. First symptoms of overdosage are dizziness and disturbances in movement, followed by spasms, nausea and unconsciousness. The mere smell of the plant may cause headache to some people.
This species is not to be confused with the traditionally-used one "
Ledum groenlandicum", found essentially in the Labradorregion in Canada (where its name comes from).
For traditional uses in
herbal medicine, see Labrador Tea(" Ledum groenlandicum").
Marsh Labrador Tea ("
Ledum palustre") has traditionally been used as a gruitin brewing beerin the Middle Ages. Due to its strong fragrance, it has also formerly been used as a natural anti-moth (for Clothing Moth) in Scandinavia.
External links and references
* [http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?410675 Germplasm Resources Information Network: "Rhododendron tomentosum"]
* [http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200016302 Flora of China: "Ledum palustre"]
* [http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LEPA11 USDA PLANTS database: "Ledum palustre"]
* [http://linnaeus.nrm.se/flora/di/erica/rhodo/rhodtomv.jpgDen virtuelle floran: "Distribution"]
* [http://www.labradortea.eu http://www.labradortea.eu] Labrador Tea - (grunge)rock band from Brno, Czech Republic
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