Mountain-laurel

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Flowers from another Kalmia latifolia 'Carousel' on campus.

Kalmia latifolia
MOUNTAIN-LAUREL

Ericaceae
E. North America

Location: map coordinates T-11 (north side of Herbarium, Washington Building), N 39°11'7'' W 75°32'45''

Planting history: planted 4/18/13 Earth Day. Source: Ronny’s Garden World. Gift from Arbor Day Foundation.

Description:
  • evergreen shrub
  • etymology: Kalmia named by Linnaeus for his student the Swedish/Finnish botanist Pehr (Peter) Kalm (1716-1779), who explored eastern N. America in the 1700’s; latifolia = wide-leaved
  • leaves alternate, simple, elliptical, to 5” long
  • flowers attractive; in the species, white to light pink; in this cultivar ‘Carousel’, flower has purplish band near the inner upper edge
  • stamens tucked into indentations in the petals; stamens “released” when insect pollinator lands on the flower, depositing pollen on the pollinator
  • fruit dry capsule
  • toxic to various animals (e.g. horses, deer, humans)
  • can form large thickets on moist woodland slopes; acidic soils
  • native range from S. Maine to N. Florida, west to Indiana and Louisana

Native species, State Rank S5 (very common in Delaware)

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