Erect branching evergreen resinous shrubs, with scaly buds, the foliage fragrant when crushed. Leaves alternate, thick, short-petioled, oblong or linear, revolute-margined. Flowers white, numerous in terminal umbels or corymbs. Pedicels bracted at the base, the bracts scarious, deciduous. Calyx small or minute, 5-toothed, persistent. Petals 5, obovate or oval, obtuse, spreading, imbricated. Stamens 5 or 10 (rarely 5 to 7), exserted; filaments filiform; anthers small, attached by their backs to the filaments, globose-didymous, awnless, the sacs opening by terminal pores. Disk annular, 8-10-lobed. Ovary ovoid, scaly, 5-celled; ovules numerous; style filiform; stigma 5-lobed. Capsule oblong, 5-celled. septicidally 5-valved from the base. Seeds elongated. [Greek, ledon, the plant now called Cistus Ledon.]

About 5 species, natives of the north temperate and sub-arctic zones. Besides the following, 2 others occur on the Pacific Coast. Types species: Ledum palustre L.

Leaves linear, 1"-3" wide; stamens about 10.


L. decumbcns.

Leaves oblong, 3"-8" wide; stamens 5-7.


L. groenlandicum.

1. Ledum Decùmbens (Ait.) Lodd. Narrow Leaved Labrador Tea

Fig. 3213

L. palustre decumbens Ait. Hort. Kew. 2: 65. 1789. L. decumbens Lodd.; Steud. Nomencl. Ed. 2, 20. 1841.

A shrub, about 1° high, the twigs rusty-tomentose. Leaves linear, obtuse, dark green and somewhat rugose above, densely tomentose with brown wool beneath, strongly revolute-margined, 1/3'-3/4' long, 1"-2" wide; flowers 3"s" broad; pedicels very pubescent, 4"-8" long in fruit; stamens 10; capsule obovoid or oval, scurfy, about 2" high and 1 1/2" in diameter, nodding; calyx-teeth less than 1/2" long, broadly ovate to half-orbicular, obtuse.

In bogs, Newfoundland to Maine and Quebec, west to Alaska. Also in northern Asia. In our first edition included in L. palustre L., of Europe and Asia. Summer.

1 Ledum Dec Mbens Ait Lodd Narrow Leaved Labrador  15551 Ledum Dec Mbens Ait Lodd Narrow Leaved Labrador  1556

2. Ledum Groenlándicum Oeder. Labrador Tea

Fig. 3214

Ledum groenlandicum Oeder, Fl. Dan. pl. 567. 1771.

Ledum latifolium Ait. Hort. Kew. 2: 65. 1789.

A shrub, 1°-4° high, similar to the preceding species, the twigs densely tomentose. Leaves oblong, obtuse, 1'-2' long, 3"-8" wide, green and slightly rugose above, densely brown-tomentose beneath, strongly revolute-margined; flowers 4"-5" broad, umbellate or short-corymbose; pedicels brown-canescent or tomentose, io"-I2" long and recurved in fruit; stamens 5-7; capsule oblong, canescent, nodding, 3" - 3 1/2" long, 1"-1 1/2" in diameter.

In bogs and swamps, Greenland; Labrador to British Columbia, Massachusetts, eastern Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Saskatchewan and Washington. May-Aug.