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Kalmia angustifolia

Kalmia angustifolia L.

 

Sheep Laurel

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderEricalesTea, persimmon, blueberry, Brazil nut, azalea, many others
FamilyEricaceaeHeath or heather family
GenusKalmiaNamed by Linnaeus to honour his friend the Finnish botanist Pehr Kalm
SpeciesangustifoliaHaving narrow foliage

About plant names...

Sheep laurel is native to North America.

Identification: Sheep laurel is 6-36" (15-91 cm) tall, spreading wider over time. Leaves are oval, with smooth edges, yellow-green or blue-green in color, 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) long and about ½-1¼" (1.3-3.2 cm) wide. The leaf undersides are pale. Flowers are a beautiful pink color, occurring in clusters of about 10-30, each about ⅜-½" (9.5-12 mm) across. Fruits are light brown, small capsules with five sections. A unique identifying feature of this plant is that each stem is terminated by 3-leaf clusters rather than flowers; the flowers grow in clumps along the stem instead.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones This plant is highly toxic to sheep as well as people, and can be fatal to either. Toxic ingredients include andromedotoxin and arbutin.

Online References:

Kalmia angustifolia at the University of Connecticut Plant Database

Kalmia angustifolia on the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Kalmia angustifolia at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Kalmia angustifolia on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Kalmia angustifolia at the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Kalmia angustifolia on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database

Kalmia angustifolia (Sheep Laurel)

6/2/2016 · Townsend Wildlife Management Area, Townsend, MA

Kalmia angustifolia (Sheep Laurel)

6/8/2012 · Townsend Wildlife Management Area, Townsend, MA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.2 × 13 cm)

Kalmia angustifolia (Sheep Laurel)

5/25/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 6 × 4½" (14 × 12 cm)

Kalmia angustifolia (Sheep Laurel)

6/8/2012 · Townsend Wildlife Management Area, Townsend, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Kalmia angustifolia (Sheep Laurel)

7/12/2015 · Mt. Kearsarge, Wilmot/Warner, NH
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 15 cm)

Kalmia angustifolia description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 17 Jun 2016.

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Kalmia angustifolia (Sheep Laurel)

6/8/2012 · Townsend Wildlife Management Area, Townsend, MA
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm)

Kalmia angustifolia (Sheep Laurel)

6/2/2016 · Townsend Wildlife Management Area, Townsend, MA

Kalmia angustifolia (Sheep Laurel)

6/17/2013 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Nashoba Hospital, MA
≈ 6 × 5" (16 × 13 cm)

Kalmia angustifolia (Sheep Laurel)

7/12/2015 · Mt. Kearsarge, Wilmot/Warner, NH
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 15 cm)

Kalmia angustifolia (Sheep Laurel)

9/19/2009 · Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm) ID is uncertain

Kalmia angustifolia (Sheep Laurel)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm)

Kalmia angustifolia (Sheep Laurel)

5/30/2015 · Townsend Wildlife Area
≈ 7 × 5" (17 × 13 cm)

Kalmia angustifolia (Sheep Laurel)

7/12/2015 · Mt. Kearsarge, Wilmot/Warner, NH
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Kalmia angustifolia (Sheep Laurel)

9/26/2016 · Henry E. Cowdrey Nature Center, Lunenberg, MA

Range:

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