Labrador Tea blooms

Western Labrador Tea (Rhododendron columbianum)

Formerly Known As:  Ledum glandulosum

Family:  Heath (Ericaceae)

Labrador Tea is a shrub that likes semi-shady areas, particularly near streams. The leaves are aromatic when bruised, but the plant is poisonous, so brewing up a batch is inadvisable.

Blooms:  June - August

Lifespan:  Perennial (shrub)

Origins:  Native to California (see distribution maps for California and U.S./Canada)

Rhododendron columbianum etymology:  Rhododendron derives from the Greek term for "rose tree".[1] Columbianum[2] means "related to western North America" when you see it in a botanical name. It's derived from Columbus and his voyages to various Caribbean islands, which you probably didn't know were part of western North America.

This Photo:  Near a streambed along the Pohono Trail between Taft Point and Sentinel Dome, late June. Elevation around 7,500 feet (2,300 meters).

Other Resources:   CalFlora  ·  CalPhotos  ·  USDA  ·

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