Tea anyone?

New Jersey Tea, that is! This little shrub,Ceanothus americanus,  which can be found on forest edges, is useful to humans and wildlife alike.  A standby herbal and medicinal plant, New Jersey Tea’s red roots and bark were used by Native Americans to treat respiratory illnesses and to make dyes.  Early colonists — in New Jersey and otherwise — used the wintergreen-scented leaves to make a tea. Today, extracts, which have a mild hypotensive effect, are used to treat problems of the lymph system. A source of nectar for butterflies, the plant is also larval host to spring and summer azure and mottled duskywing butterflies. Turkeys and quail eat the seeds; deer browse on the twigs in winter.

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