Rhododendron groenlandicum

Family: Ericaceae

Common Name: Labrador tea


Habit: Evergreen shrub, up to 1 m tall.

Leaves: Simple, 2-5 cm long and 0.5-2 cm wide, short-petioled, evergreen, fragrant when crushed. Blade oblong-elliptic, leathery-textured (coriaceous), dull and dark green above, lower surface covered at first with dense white hairs that become rusty-coloured in mature leaves. Leaf apex and base blunt (obtuse), margins entire and strongly curved under (revolute).

Leaf Arrangement: alternate

Flowers and Fruit: Rounded, umbel-like, terminal clusters. Calyx small, 5-toothed. Corolla white, about 1 cm wide, deeply 5-lobed, lobes oblong and spreading. Stamens 5-7, longer than petals; pistil with a compound, superior ovary and a single, prominent style that becomes persistent in fruit. Blooms in June to early July. Dry, oblong to elliptic capsule fruits, 5-6 mm long, pendant, splitting into 5 parts from the base upward. Fruits persist over winter and can usually be found below the current year’s growth.

Bark: Young twigs densely hairy, becoming smooth (glabrous) in older stems.

Water Use, Soil: Prefers moist to wet, peaty soils.

Exposure: part shade, sun.

Landscape Uses: Mixed shrub border, native planting, small garden, spring interest.


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