Mar. 1, 2017

New Jersey tea, Ceanothus americanus

I get way more excited by color varieties than they probably deserve. Botanically, they are of relatively little importance. To a photographer they present fun opportunities. This was one of those moments. I had never seen a pink New Jersey tea, and had no reason to think I would. It's normally white. I've found no reference to this color in any of the literature. It has been used as a tea substitute, and is said to have gotten its name during the American Revolution. It is also used as a herbal medicine, and as a dye. The flowers are not more than 1/4 inch across. A small shrub of drier thickets and open woods in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME(T), MI, MN, MO, MN, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, ON, and QC. Nationally threatened in Canada. Lenawee Co MI, 7/7/11