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Labrador Tea
Ledum groenlandicum
-Labrador Tea is one of my favorite plants. It is a short, upright, evergreen shrub
that is common in bogs. The leathery leaves of Labrador Tea are fuzzy underneath.
-Labrador Tea bloom from late May through the 3rd week of June.
-The Heath Family (Ericaceae) includes many Northern Wisconsin species that
are adapted to survive in acid soils and the extremely acidic conditions of the bog.
Included in this group are Labrador Tea, Leather-leaf, Bog Rosemary, Bog Laurel,
Creeping Snowberry, Cranberry, Wintergreen, Bearberry, and Lowbush Blueberry.
Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink
-Bogs are a wet desert, they contain water so acidic that roots cannot readily
absorb nutrients. Survival techniques of heaths include evergreen leaves, which save
energy by not having to grow all new leaves every spring, and tough, leathery leaves with
waxy surfaces or wooly undersides and sunken stomata, which conserve water during
cold drying winters and hot summer days of direct sunlight. To me this is totally
amazing, they have their roots in water, but they have evolved many of the same
adaptations of cacti.