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Kalmia latifolia

Kalmia latifolia L.

Kalmia latifolia L. var. laevipes Fernald

Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun

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
SpecieslatifoliaLatin for “wide to broad leaves”

About plant names...

Mountain laurel is native to eastern North America, found at edges of dense woods or throughout mature hardwood and pine forests where light levels are fairly high. The common reflects its widespread presence in mountain forests, but it is also common closer to sea level. This is a popular landscaping plant, and many cultivars exist.

Identification: Plants are 6½-30' (2-9 m) high, usually growing as shrubs but reaching tree size in some areas. Its multiple branches are characteristically crooked, and gray or cinnamon-colored, depending upon age. The shape may be compact or uneven, with irregular branches and uneven foliage. Leaves are shiny, 1-4½" (3-12 cm) × ⅜-1½" (1-4 cm), roughly oval (technically elliptical), with smooth edges and pointed tips. Leaves are usually dark green, but become lighter in high amounts of sunlight. Flowers occur in numerous attractive 4-6" (10-15 cm) clusters that appear from May to July. Each flower is bowl-shaped, ¾-1" (1.9-2.5 cm) in diameter, with five overlapping petals, white or pink with rose-colored spots.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones Mountain laurel foliage is toxic to horses, cattle, goats, sheep, deer, monkeys, and humans.

Online References:

Kalmia latifolia on Wikipedia

Kalmia latifolia on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook

Kalmia latifolia at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Kalmia latifolia at the University of Connecticut Plant Database

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

Kalmia latifolia on Erv Evans' site at the North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

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

Kalmia latifolia on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

10/3/2010 · Tarkill Interpretive Trail, Rte 402, Poconos, Peck’s Pond, PA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

5/30/2010 · Hayes Wood Conservation Trail, Shirley St., Pepperell, MA
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.9 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

1/1/2011 · MacDonald-Zachos'
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

9/28/2011 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 21 × 31" (52 × 78 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/17/2016 · Blue Trail, Willard Brook State Park, Ashby, MA

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/14/2016 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, NH

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/14/2016 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, NH

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

1/1/2011 · MacDonald-Zachos'
≈ 31 × 46" (78 × 117 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

10/3/2010 · Tarkill Interpretive Trail, Rte 402, Poconos, Peck’s Pond, PA
≈ 9 × 7" (21 × 17 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/15/2017 · Jason Cut-off, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH
≈ 6 × 4" (16 × 11 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

Buds. · 5/22/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm) ID is uncertain

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

5/30/2010 · Hayes Wood Conservation Trail, Shirley St., Pepperell, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

3/9/2012 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.9 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/21/2017 · Pearl Hill State Park, Townsend, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (18 × 12 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

9/15/2016 · Cadillac Mountain Summit, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

9/19/2009 · Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm) ID is uncertain

Kalmia latifolia description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 24 Jun 2017.

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Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/6/2016 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, NH

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

Buds. · 5/22/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/21/2017 · Pearl Hill State Park, Townsend, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (20 × 13 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/6/2016 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, NH

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/26/2016 · Short Trail, Willard Brook State Park, Ashby, MA

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

9/16/2016 · Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail, Bar Harbor, ME

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

9/29/2013 · South Bubble Hike, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 5 × 8" (12 × 19 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/23/2013 · Rocky Ridge Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH
≈ 5 × 4½" (13 × 11 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

9/19/2009 · Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm) ID is uncertain

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/7/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Pepperell, MA
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

9/28/2011 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/6/2016 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, NH

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

1/1/2011 · MacDonald-Zachos'
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

9/19/2009 · Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/7/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Pepperell, MA
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

9/16/2016 · Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail, Bar Harbor, ME

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/10/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 3½ × 2½" (9.8 × 6.6 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/14/2009 · By Jacquelyn Boyt

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/22/2017 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (18 × 12 cm) ID is uncertain

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

10/3/2010 · Tarkill Interpretive Trail, Rte 402, Poconos, Peck’s Pond, PA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm)

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel, Mountain Laurel, Spoonwood, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, Clamoun)

6/20/2007 · Pepperell, MA
≈ 15 × 10" (39 × 26 cm)

Range: Zones 4a-9b:

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