Kalmia latifolia

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 Kalmia latifolia subsp. var.  Mountain-laurel, Spoonwood
Kalmia latifolia flowers
Habit: shrub
Height: to
Width: to
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Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.
Lifespan: perennial
Poisonous: to some animals
Bloom: late spring, early summer
Features: flowers
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Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: to
Sunset Zones:
Flower features: pink, white
Ericaceae > Kalmia latifolia var. , L.

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Kalmia latifolia, commonly called Mountain-laurel or Spoonwood, is a species flowering plant in the blueberry family, Ericaceae, that is native to the eastern United States. Its range stretches from southern Maine south to northern Florida, and west to Indiana and Louisiana.

It is widely grown for its attractive flowers. Numerous cultivars have been selected with varying flower color.

It is an evergreen shrub growing to 3–9 m tall. The leaves are 3–12 cm long and 1–4 cm wide. Its flowers are round, ranging from light pink to white, and occurring in clusters. There are several named cultivars today that have darker shades of pink, near red and maroon pigment. It blooms between May and June. All parts of the plant are poisonous. Roots are fibrous and matted.[1]

The plant is naturally found on rocky slopes and mountainous forest areas. It prefers a soil pH in the 4.5 to 5.5 range, therefore it thrives in acid soil. The plant often grows in large thickets, covering great areas of forest floor. In North America it can become tree sized on undeveloped mountains of the Carolinas but is a shrub further north.[1]

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Kalmia latifolia, Linn. Mountain or American Laurel. Calico Bush. Fig. 2029. Shrub, 4-10 ft. high, rarely tree to 30 ft., with dense, round-topped head: lvs. petioled, alternate or irregularly whorled, oblong or elliptic-lanceolate, acute at both ends, dark green above, yellowish green below, 3-4 in. long: fls. in large, terminal compound corymbs on viscid peduncles; corolla rose-colored to white, with purple markings within, about 3/4in. across. May, June. New Bruns. to Fla., west to Ohio and Tenn. var. alba, bosse. fls. almost white. var. fuscata, Rehd. Corolla inside with a broad_ dark purpish brown band. var. myrtifolia, Bosse (var. nana or var. minor, Hort.). Fig. 2030. lvs. small, 1-2 in. long, deep green, of slow growth, forming a low, dense bush. var. obtusata, Rehd. Of compact habit and slow growth: lvs. elliptic or oval, obtuse at both ends, 2-3 in. long. var. polypetala, Nichols, (var. monstruosa, Mouillef.). Corolla divided into 5 narrow petals which gives to the fls. a feathery appearance. var. rubra, Sweet (var. pavartii, Andre). Fls. deep pink.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



Pests and diseases




  1. 1.0 1.1 Keeler, Harriet L. (1900). Our Native Trees and How to Identify Them. New York: Charles Scriber's Sons. pp. 186–189. 

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