Labrador Tea (ledum latifolium), an interesting low evergreen shrub belonging to the heath family, and to the same suborder with the kalmia, the rhododendron, and the azalea. It is found in moist places, from Pennsylvania northward, especially in cold sphagnum swamps, its much-branching stems spreading in every direction through the damp moss. Its alternate short-petioled leaves are light green above, revolute at the margin, and the under surface is clothed with a dense down or rather wool, which in the older leaves is of a rusty brown color, a character by which the plant may be readily recognized; the leaves when crushed are fragrant. The flowers are in crowded terminal corymbs, white with distinct petals, forming an exception to the rule in this family, in which the flowers are mostly mono-petalous. The common name has reference to the use made of the leaves as a substitute for tea by the inhabitants of Labrador. It is found in the northern parts of Europe also, and the leaves are said to be used in Russia for tanning leather, and as a substitute for hops in brewing. The leaves of this and the only other species, L. palustre, are said to possess narcotic properties.
The writer has found the plant to succeed in cultivation in a soil largely composed of peat.