from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A shrub (Ceanothus americanus) of central and eastern North America, having clusters of small white fragrant flowers, reddish roots, and ovate leaves formerly used to make a beverage similar to black tea.
from The Century Dictionary.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
2 New Jersey tea is blooming now, and it prompted me to make tea from the leaves and flowers of it that I hung up to dry last year.