Even though the leaves contain no caffeine, New Jersey Tea was used as a tea substitute after the Boston Tea Party. An attractive, small shrub that will improve soil quality by making nitrogen more available. This is one of Missouri's best shrubs for attracting bees.
Prairie red root is a very similar plant and could be substituted in landscape design. The leaves of New Jersey Tea are usually broader and slightly pointed at the tips, while prairie red root leaves are more narrow. Prairie red root blooms a little earlier.
If older plants begin to look ragged, trim them back to 4 inches to encourage new growth. Deer and rabbits both find New Jersey Tea appetizing. If they are over-abundant in your area, you may have trouble getting these plants established.
Uses: Drought resistant, medicinal, bees, butterflies, edible
Bloom time: May - June
Height: 3 to 4 feet
Space: 2 to 3 feet
Sun: Full sun to light shade
Moisture: Dry to average