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Kalmia latifolia

This plant has poison characteristics. See below.
Common Name(s):
Mountain laurel, mountain ivy, ivy bush
Cultivar(s):
Carousel, Carol, Sarah, Richard Jaynes, Pristine, Elf (dwarf), Minuet (dwarf), Keepsake, Olympic Fire, Bullseye, Snowdrift
Categories:
Native Plants, Poisonous Plants, Shrubs
Comment:

Glossy green leaves turn yellow as they age and fall off; foliage is poisonous to livestock; avoid high fertilization; contorted trunk with cinnamon bark; drought tolerant; native to southeastern US; good for naturalizing; leaves may yellow with winter sun; mulch to keep soil moist

Description:
Large, evergreen shrub; leaves alternate and simple; flowers pinkish, in terminal clusters, each saucer-shaped with 5 shallow lobes, the 10 anthers at first stuck in small pockets; fruit a capsule; multiple cultivars available, including dwarf forms ('Minuet' grows to 3 ft.)
Height:
7-15 ft.
Foliage:
Alternate, simple, glossy, dark green leaves; occasionally opposite or whorled; 2-5 in. long; new growth is yellow-green; yellows with age and falls off
Flower:
4-5 in. white, pink, pink-rose flowers in late spring on 4-6 in. corymb
Zones:
4 to 9
Habit:
Evergreen
Site:
Sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained, acidic soil but is tolerant of dry soil
Texture:
Medium
Form:
Symmetrical; dense; haystacked to rounded; becomes open and loose with age
Exposure:
Partial shade; moist, well-drained soil but is tolerant of dry soil but not wet sites
Fruit:
4 to 5 in. clusters of white to pink flowers in late spring
Family:
Ericaceae
Origin:
USA, NC
Distribution:
Throughout
Poison Part:
All parts
Poison Delivery Mode:
Ingestion
Symptoms:
Salivation, watering of eyes and nose, slow pulse, nausea, vomiting, sweating, abdominal pain, headache, tingling of skin, lack of coordination, convulsions, paralysis
Toxic Principle:
Andromedotoxin, a resinoid; arbutin, a glycoside
Severity:
HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN!
Found in:
Forest or natural areas in moist woods and along stream banks; landscape as cultivated ornamental flowering shrub or small tree
Width:
3-5 ft.
Tags:
native, dwarf cultivars, naturalizes, Contorted trunk, cinnamon bark

NCCES plant id: 498

Kalmia latifolia Kalmia latifolia
Kalmia latifolia Kalmia latifolia
Kalmia latifolia Kalmia latifolia
Kalmia latifolia Kalmia latifolia
Kalmia latifolia 'Minuet' K. latifolia 'Minuet' close-up
Photo by Philip Bouchard, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0