|Kalmia latifolia subsp. var.||Mountain-laurel, Spoonwood|
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 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.
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.
|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.
Pests and diseases
- Kalmia latifolia species.jpg
More mature buds of wild K. latifolia, showing the geometry.
- Kalmia latifolia3.jpg
a Kalmia latifolia cultivar
- Mountain Laurel Kalmia latifolia 'Olympic Wedding' Young Old Flowers 3264px.jpg
Flowers, both blooming and wilted, on the same flower head.
- ↑ 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.
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963