Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Taxonomy
Andromeda polifolia var. glaucophylla L. (Link.) DC
ERICACEAE (Heath Family)
EtymologyAndromeda, in Greek mythology, was a princess of Ethiopia who was chained to a rock to appease Poseidon. She was rescued by Perseus who married her; polifolia is Latin for gray-leaved and glaucophylla means having leaves that are gray-green or blue-green..
Synonyms (Common Name)Andromeda
DescriptionUsually growing in masses from a creeping root base, bog rosemary is a low (4"-2'), scraggly, evergreen ericaceous shrub. It grows in cold, wet bogs primarily in northern New England; it is threatened in Connecticut. Bog rosemary has whitened twigs and waxy, blue-green leaves with white undersides, giving it a grayish aspect. Like several other ericads, its leaves contain acetylandromedol which is toxic to livestock and people.
Wetland indicator statusOBL
Plant Height4 -24 inches
LeavesEvergreen, alternate, simple, entire; 3/4 - 2 1/2" long, narrowly elliptical to linear, pointed at tip and base, deeply inrolled margins; waxy, blue-green above, white and downy below. POISONOUS.
Flower/InflorescenceSmall (1/4- 1/2"), pale pink or white, urn-shaped, in terminal clusters.
Flowering PeriodMay-June
FruitTiny (1/8"), round, 5-parted capsule with pinlike persistent style -- looks like a tiny pumpkin.
Fruiting PeriodJuly-September; may persist throughout the winter.
HabitatBogs.
RangeLabrador and Newfoundland to Saskatchewan, south to New Jersey, West Virginia, and Minnesota.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett