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Bog Rosemary Andromeda polifolia

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
an-DROM-eh-dah pol-ih-FOH-lee-ah
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Bog Rosemary, is a low, evergreen shrub or ground cover in the Ericaceae (blueberry) family.  Growing from 8 inches to 3 feet in height and, in its native state, typically found in bogs. The shrub does not have many branches, but many shrubs will grow together to form a clump.

The plant prefers a well-drained, moisture-retentive, lime-free, humus-rich soil and shade.Wet soils are tolerated well. It does not do well in heat and humidity and locations south of Zone 6. Plants spread slowly by means of suckers to become a very ornamental plant.

The small, firm, narrow leaves are blue-green. Leaf margins roll under. Several small, bell-shaped, pink or white flowers occur together in a curved umbel at the tip of a branch.

Bog Rosemary is one of several heath shrubs similar to Sheep Laurel,  Bog Laurel, and Labrador Tea. 

Plant in a border front, or along a stream or pond margins, or in a rain garden.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No known diseases or insect pests. Does require acidic soil.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Ice'
    Intense slate blue leaf color.
  • 'Nana'
    Dwarf habit, perhaps no taller than 18 inches.
'Blue Ice', 'Nana'
Tags:
#evergreen#poisonous#water garden#rain garden#shrub#pink flowers#woody#slopes#riparian#pond margins#summer flowers#groundcover#border planting#flowers late spring#border front#flowers early summer#wet soils tolerant#bog garden#woodland
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Ice'
    Intense slate blue leaf color.
  • 'Nana'
    Dwarf habit, perhaps no taller than 18 inches.
'Blue Ice', 'Nana'
Tags:
#evergreen#poisonous#water garden#rain garden#shrub#pink flowers#woody#slopes#riparian#pond margins#summer flowers#groundcover#border planting#flowers late spring#border front#flowers early summer#wet soils tolerant#bog garden#woodland
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Andromeda
    Species:
    polifolia
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    In ome cultures, the tender leaves and shoot-tips are boiled as an aromatic tea
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Northern (sub Arctic) Europe, Asia, and North America
    Distribution:
    Northern temperate regions of Europe and North America.
    Edibility:
    non-edible, poison
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Dense
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Brown capsule with no ornamental value.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Urn
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Blooms in June and July, several small, bell-shaped, pink or white flowers occur together in a curvedĀ umbelĀ at the tip of a branch in terminal nodding clusters
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Shrub leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, narrow, leathery, sharp-tipped, and whitish below.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pond
    Riparian
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Insect Pests
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    A toxin, called 'andromedotoxin' can be released from the plant if it is infused in boiling water causing watering of mouth, eyes, and nose; loss of energy, slow pulse, vomiting, low blood pressure, lack of coordination, convulsions, and progressive paralysis.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Andromedotoxin
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits