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A small genus of aromatic evergreen shrubs, with alternate, short-stalked, leaves, and white flowers produced in terminal roundish clusters. Calyx teeth five; corolla of five distinct, spreading petals; stamens from five to ten, with the anthers opening by two apertures at the top. Seed-vessel a capsule, with five divisions which separate from the base upwards.
L. groenlandicum and L. palustre inhabit moors and swampy districts in high northern latitudes and like a peaty soil or sandy loam free from lime. They can be propagated by seeds, treated as recommended for heaths, also by layers and cuttings.
Although the existence of hybrids between Ledum and Rhododendron has not been proved beyond doubt, there is in commerce a cultivar raised from R. trichotomum which most probably had a species of Ledum as pollen-parent. It has been named ‘Arctic Tern’. The generic name × Ledodendron was, however, published in reference to a putative hybrid between Ledum glandulosum and Rhododendron ‘Elizabeth’, the authenticity of which is doubtful (Barry Starling, The Plantsman, Vol. 4(2), pp. 97-9 (1982) and Vol. 5(3), p. 63 (1983)).