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Andromeda polifolia (Bog rosemary)
Weyand, Phyllis

Andromeda polifolia

Andromeda polifolia L.

Bog Rosemary, Bog-rosemary

Ericaceae (Heath Family)


USDA Symbol: anpo

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), GL (N), SPM (N)

A low, evergreen shrub growing from 8 in to 3 ft. in height. The shrub does not have many branches, but many shrubs will grow together to form a clump. 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 often found in boggy areas in association with Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), Sheep Laurel (Kalmia angustifolia), Bog Laurel (K. polifolia), and Labrador Tea (Ledum spp.).


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AK , CT , ID , IL , IN , MA , ME , MI , MN , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , VT , WA , WI , WV
Canada: BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Circumpolar in N. America, s. to Alt. & B.C.; reported from WA & Bonner Co., ID
Native Habitat: Acid bogs

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Organic peats, sands and mucks.
Conditions Comments: Demands strongly acid soil. No serious disease or insect problems. Creeping rootstocks form large patches.


Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Toxic only in large quantities. Symptoms include watering of mouth, eyes, and nose, loss of energy, slow pulse, vomiting, low blood pressure, lack of coordination, convulsions, and progressive paralysis. Toxic Principle: Andromedotoxin. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: Propagation is by seeds or cuttings, though layering is easiest.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native plants to stop pond bank erosion
June 04, 2008
I recently purchased a home with a small pond in which a nearby stream daylights. The former owner placed large field stone around the pond and the small stream; however, the area around the pond and...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA


Bibref 902 - Ex situ plant conservation : supporting species survival in the wild (2004) Guerrant, E. O.; K. Havens; M. Maunder

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Andromeda polifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Andromeda polifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Andromeda polifolia


Record Modified: 2022-11-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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