When does this bloom?
Where does this bloom?
42-43, 91-100, 138.4, 197, 211, 241, 328.6
New Jersey Tea (ceanothus americanus) is a perennial subshrub or shrub and is native to the United States. It grows most actively in the spring and summer. It has green foliage (which is not retained year to year) and inconspicuous blue flowers. The greatest bloom is observed in the late spring. At maturity, the New Jersey Tea can reach heights of 3 feet.
A refreshing and stimulating tea is made from the dried leaves. The leaves are gathered when the plant is in fell bloom and are dried in the shade. This tea does not contain caffeine.
A green dye is also obtained from the flowers, a cinnamon-colored dye from the whole plant, and a red dye from the root. This plant is also rich in saponins, which when crushed and mixed with water produce an excellent lather which is an effective and gentle soap. Native American Indians used the flowers often in preparation for marriage as they leave the skin smelling fragrant and sweet.
The roots and root bark of New Jersey Tea was used extensively to treat fevers and sore throats. Current day usage of the root concentrate includes astringent, expectorant, and antispasmodic actions.