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Kalmia latifolia

Mountain Laurel is the common name of Kalmia latifolia a flowering shrub of the family Ericaceae

Found in the eastern USA, this is a poisonous broad-leaved (3-12 cm long, 1-4 cm wide) evergreen shrub, between 3-9 m tall. Its flowers are star-shaped, pink to white, occurring in clusters.

The plant is naturally found on rocky slopes and mountainous forest areas.

It is also known as Ivybush, Calico Bush, Spoonwood (because native Americans used to make their spoons out of it), Sheep Laurel, Lambkill and Clamoun.

Mountain laurel is the state flower of Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

The plant was first recorded in America in 1624, but it was named after Peter Kalm, who sent samples to Linnaeus in the 18th century.

Varieties include:

var. Latifolia - Mountain Laurel; var. Rubra Sweet - Pink Mountain Laurel; var. Laevipes Vern. - Smooth Mountain Laurel; var. Fuscata Rehd. - Branded Mountain Laurel; var. Alba Bosse - White Mountain Laurel.

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