Herb latin name: Ledum columbianum
Synonyms: Ledum glandulosum columbianum
Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)
Medicinal use of Ledum columbianum:The leaves and young flowering shoots re astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, laxative and stomachic.
Description of the plant:
(3 1/4 foot)
Habitat of the herb:Near the coast in wet peaty places and open pine and redwood forests below 1000 metres.
Edible parts of Ledum columbianum:A tea is made from the leaves. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. It would be better to brew the tea in cold water by leaving it in a sunny place, or to make sure that it is brewed for a short time only in an open container. The leaves are used as a flavouring, they are a bayleaf substitute.
Other uses of the herb:The leaves are used to repel moths, mice, rats etc.
Propagation of Ledum columbianum:Seed - surface sow in a shady part of the greenhouse in February or March. Another report says that the seed is best sown in the autumn as soon as it is ripe. Germination is variable and can be quite slow. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow the pots on in a shady frame for 18 months before planting them out into their permanent positions. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Plant out in spring. Fair percentage. Cuttings of mature wood, November/December in a frame. Layering in the autumn. Takes 12 months. Division.
Cultivation of the herb:Near the coast in wet peaty places and open pine and redwood forests below 1000 metres.
Known hazards of Ledum columbianum:Plants contain a narcotic toxin called Ledel. This toxin only causes problems if the leaves are cooked for a long period in a closed container.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.