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Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum, formerly Ledum groenlandicum)
French name: thé du Labrador
General: This erect evergreen shrub, up to 1 m tall, often forms colonies.
Leaves & Twigs: The leathery, narrow, oblong leaves are about 2-5 cm long, with rusty matted hairs on the underside (new leaves have white hairs underneath). The edges of the leaves roll under to help retain moisture. New twigs are densely covered with brown hairs; old stems become reddish-brown to grey.
Flowers & Fruit: Five-petalled, white flowers, about 1 cm across, occur in rounded clusters at the branch tips.
Habitat: Shade-intolerant and often found on moist to wet soils, Labrador tea is common on open peatland dominated by sphagnum moss and in open-canopy coniferous forests.
Sampling: Select a typical patch of plants, if the plants are very abundant, mark off a 1-metre-square section to observe.