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Plant Guide


422 Bath Road
Brunswick, ME 04011


89 Foreside Road
Falmouth, ME 04105


201 Gray Rd (Route 100)
Cumberland, ME 04021


Labrador Tea

Rhododendron groenlandicum

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Labrador Tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum) at Skillins Greenhouse

Labrador Tea flowers

Labrador Tea flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Labrador Tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum) at Skillins Greenhouse

Labrador Tea in bloom

Labrador Tea in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  3 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  2a

Other Names:  Ledum groenlandicum


Recently re-classed as a Rhododendron; native in northern climes with lacey white flowers in late spring and a compact habit, quite hardy; a bog plant for use in wet poorly drained areas; must have acidid soil, use plenty of peat moss when planting

Ornamental Features

Labrador Tea features dainty clusters of white star-shaped flowers at the ends of the branches in late spring. It has green foliage with coppery-bronze undersides. The fuzzy narrow leaves remain green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Labrador Tea is an open multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Labrador Tea is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Bog Gardens

Planting & Growing

Labrador Tea will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It has a low canopy. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for poor, acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Massing  Garden  Naturalizing  Bog 
Flowers  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features