To understand the relationship between resource limitation and essential oil production of the widely-distributed boreal/arctic shrub, Ledum palustre ssp decumbens, I documented naturally occurring variation of essential oils over a growing season with field collections along a latitudinal transect spanning boreal forest to arctic tundra. Collections from a long-term resource manipulation experiment at a single tundra site served as a means of teasing apart those factors that might be influencing the essential oil production of the species. The essential oil composition varied significantly along the transect in the number of detectable components, but the relationships among resources and essential oil production were complex. In the manipulation experiment, essential oil components varied greatly among the treatments, with significant differences in the qualitative expression of the specific essential oil components. Both studies suggest that future climate changes have the potential for large changes in production and quality of essential oils.