NCBG North Carolina Botanical Garden

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. - J.R.R. Tolkien

Scientific Name: or show all plants or perform combination search
Plant Family:

Kalmia latifolia

Kalmia latifolia L.

mountain laurel, calico-bush, ivy

Synonym(s): Kalmia latifolia var. laevipes
Kalmia latifolia (Mountain Laurel)
image by Parkins, Grant Morrow
NCBG PLANT INDEX
ID_PLANT: KALA
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Kalmia latifolia
GENUS: Kalmia
FAMILY: ERICAC - Ericaceae (Heath Family)

NCBG DESCRIPTIVES
INTRO:
STEMS:
LEAVES:
INFLORESCENCE:
FLOWERS:
FRUITS:
COMMENTS:
HEIGHT: 10-15 ft.

DURATION: Perennial
HABIT: Shrub, Tree

LEAF ARRANGEMENT:
LEAF COMPLEXITY: Simple
LEAF RETENTION: Evergreen

FLORAL
SYMMETRY:
BLOOM TIME: Apr-Jul
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
x x x x

BLOOM COLOR: White to pink flowers
White Red Pink Orange Yellow Green Blue Lavender Purple Violet Brown Not Applicable
x x

FRUITING PERIOD: Sep-Oct.

DISTRIBUTION
HABITAT TYPE:
NATIVE RANGE: eastern United States

HORTICULTURAL
Plant Sale Text: Mountain-laurel is among our showiest native shrubs and makes a wonderful landscape plant. Its extravagant spring floral display peaks around mother’s day with flower clusters ranging in color from white to pink with lots of variations in between. The evergreen foliage is dark green, glossy, and ornamental. Like many shrubs in the heath family (Ericaceae) this one does best in moist acidic well drained soils though it is actually fairly tolerant of dry conditions. It thrives in light shade but again, is tolerant of sunnier spaces as well.

Cultural Notes:

SOIL MOISTURE: Moist/Wet, Well-drained
LIGHT EXPOSURE: Sun, Part Shade
MINIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 4
MAXIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 9
GERMINATION CODE: 7
WILDLIFE VALUE: Bee Friendly, Butterfly Friendly
USDA PLANTS DATABASE
USDA Symbol: KALA
USDA Common Name: Mountain Laurel
Native Status: L48 (N)
Distribution: USA (AL, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WV)
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Tree, Shrub

NATIONAL WETLAND INDICATOR STATUS

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACU FACU FACU FACU

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2016 National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.3 (Lichvar, R.W., D.L. Banks, W.N. Kirchner, and N.C. Melvin. 2016. The National Wetland Plant List: 2016 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2016-30: 1-17. Published 28 April 2016. ISSN 2153 733X). Regions: AGCP-Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, AK-Alaska, AW-Arid West, CB-Caribbean, EMP-Eastern Mountains and Piedmont, GP-Great Plains, HI-Hawaii, MW-Midwest, NCNE-Northcentral and Northeast, WMCV-Western Mountains, Valleys & Coast
WEAKLEY FLORA
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Kalmia latifolia
COMMON NAME: Mountain Laurel, Ivy, Calico-bush
SYNONYMY: [= C, FNA, K, L, Pa, RAB, S, Va, W, WH3, WV, Y, Z; > K. latifolia var. laevipes Fernald - F, G; > K. latifolia var. latifolia - F, G]
PHENOLOGY: Apr-Jul; Sep-Oct.
HABITAT: Acidic forests, bluffs, bogs, along sandhill steams, and in a wide range of other habitats, nearly ubiquitous in the mountains, up to at least 1600m, more restricted in habitat in the lower Piedmont and Coastal Plain.
COMMENTS: ME, OH, and IN south to Panhandle FL and extreme e. LA. Unlike our other species, which are strictly shrubs, K. latifolia reaches the stature and diameter of a small tree.
RANGE MAP: Kalmia latifolia.png

Key to Map Symbols.

ABOUT FAMILY (Weakley Flora)
Ericaceae A.L. de Jussieu 1789 (Heath Family)
SUMMARY: A family of about 107-124 genera and 3400-4100 species, primarily shrubs, small trees, and subshrubs, nearly cosmopolitan. The Ericaceae is very important in our area, which is one of the north temperate centers of diversity for the Ericaceae, with a great diversity of genera and species, many of them rather narrowly endemic. Along with Quercus and Pinus, various members of this family are dominant in much of our landscape.
REFERENCE: Tucker in FNA (2009); Gillespie & Kron (2010, 2013); Kron et al. (2002); Wood (1961); Judd & Kron (1993); Kron & Chase (1993); Luteyn et al. (1996)=L; Dorr & Barrie (1993); Cullings & Hileman (1997); Stevens et al. in Kubitzki (2004).
ABOUT GENUS (Weakley Flora)
Kalmia Linnaeus 1753 (Wicky, Sheepkill, Mountain Laurel, Ivy, Sand-myrtle)
SUMMARY: A genus of 9-11 species, shrubs, of North America and Cuba, except the circumboreal K. procumbens (formerly Loiseleuria). Leiophyllum, traditionally treated as a monotypic or small genus of se. United States, is better treated as a part of Kalmia along with the northern Loiseleuria, based on molecular and morphological studies (Kron & King 1996, Kron et al. 2002). While this idea may initially seem outlandish (particularly to those whose concept of Kalmia is based only on Kalmia latifolia), the morphological and habital similarities of Leiophyllum to Kalmia are striking. The foliage and wood of all species (and the smoke from burning them) are poisonous.
REFERENCE: Liu, Denford, Ebinger, Packer, & Tucker in FNA (2009); Southall & Hardin (1974)=Z; Ebinger (1974)=Y; Strand & Wyatt (1991)=Q; Wilbur & Racine (1971)=T; Camp (1938)=P; Kron & King (1996); Kron et al. (2002)=V; Kron, Judd, & Anderberg (2008); Haines (2010)=U; Stevens et al. in Kubitzki (2004).

Seeds of Success (SOS)

SOS_NUM COL_DATE PERS_NUM STATE ECOREGION_III DETAIL
667 2016-11-15 60 Maryland 65 Show
665 2016-11-14 61 Virginia 65 Show
668 2016-11-16 61 Maryland 64 Show
670 2016-11-14 3 Maryland 64 Show

HERBARIUM RESOURCES
SERNEC: Find Kalmia latifolia in Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)
UNC SERNEC: Find Kalmia latifolia in University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium - Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)

WEB RESOURCES
USDA: Find Kalmia latifolia in USDA Plants
NPIN: Find Kalmia latifolia in NPIN Database
FNA: Find Kalmia latifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Kalmia latifolia

NCBG RECORD
ID IMAGE1: 7641
ID IMAGE2: 7641
ID IMAGE3: 23527
Include in WOTAS: 0
Publish to Web: 1
Last Modified: 2017-01-26

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