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“Calico hedge” diverts here. For the Rachel Field novel, see Calico Bush (novel).
Kalmia latifolia
Kalmia Latifolia.jpg
Protection status

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1]

Secure (NatureServe)[2]
Logical classificationedit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Kalmia
Species: K. latifolia
Binomial name
Kalmia latifolia
Kalmia latifolia map.png
Kalmia latifolia, the mountain laurel,[3] calico-bush,[3] or spoonwood,[3] is a types of blooming plant in the heath family Ericaceae, that is local toward the eastern United States. Its reach extends from southern Maine south to northern Florida, and west to Indiana and Louisiana. Mountain tree is the state bloom of Connecticut and Pennsylvania. It is the namesake of Laurel County in Kentucky, the city of Laurel, Mississippi, and the Laurel Highlands in southwestern Pennsylvania.[citation needed]

1 Growth
2 Reproduction
3 Etymology
4 Cultivation
5 Wood
6 Toxicity
7 Use by Native Americans
8 Gallery
9 References
10 External connections
Kalmia latifolia is an evergreen bush growing 3-9 m (9.8-29.5 ft) tall. The leaves are 3-12 cm long and 1-4 cm wide. The blossoms are hexagonal, now and again seeming, by all accounts, to be pentagonal, going from light pink to white, and happen in bunches. There are a few named cultivars that have more obscure shades of pink, red and maroon. It blossoms in May and June. All pieces of the plant are noxious. The roots are sinewy and matted.[4]

The plant is normally found on rough slants and bumpy woodland regions. It flourishes in corrosive soil, inclining toward a dirt pH in the 4.5 to 5.5 territory. The plant regularly fills in enormous shrubberies, covering extraordinary areas of woods floor. In the Appalachians, it can turn into a tree however is a bush farther north.[4] The species is a regular part of oak-heath forests.[5][6] In low, wet regions it develops thickly, yet in dry uplands has a more inadequate structure. In the southern Appalachians, tree bushes are alluded to as “shrub hells” since it is almost difficult to go through one.[7]

Kalmia latifolia is striking for its strange technique for apportioning its dust. As the bloom develops, the fibers of its stamens are twisted and brought into strain. At the point when a bug lands on the bloom, the strain is delivered, catapulting the dust strongly onto the insect.[8] Experiments have shown the blossom equipped for hurling its dust up to 15 cm.[9] Physicist Lyman J. Briggs became entranced with this peculiarity during the 1950s after his retirement from the National Bureau of Standards and led a progression of trials to clarify it.[10]

Kalmia latifolia is otherwise called ivybush or spoonwood (on the grounds that Native Americans used to make their spoons out of it).[11][12]

The plant was first recorded in America in 1624, however it was named after the Finnish pilgrim and botanist Pehr Kalm (1716-1779), who sent examples to Linnaeus.

The Latin explicit sobriquet latifolia signifies “with wide leaves” – instead of its sister species Kalmia angustifolia, “with tight leaves”.[13]

In spite of the name “mountain shrub”, Kalmia latifolia isn’t firmly connected with the genuine trees of the family Lauraceae.


K. latifolia ‘Clementine Churchill’, Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid
The plant was initially brought to Europe as an elaborate plant during the eighteenth century. It is still generally developed for its appealing blossoms and all year evergreen leaves. Elliptic, substitute, rugged, lustrous evergreen passes on (to 5″ long) are dull green above and yellow green underneath and suggestive of the leaves of rhododendrons. All pieces of this plant are poisonous whenever ingested. Various cultivars have been chosen with shifting blossom tone. A significant number of the cultivars have begun from the Connecticut Experiment Station in Hamden and from the plant reproducing of Dr. Richard Jaynes. Jaynes has various named assortments that he has made and is viewed as the world’s clout on Kalmia latifolia.[14][15]

In the UK the accompanying cultivars have acquired the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit:

‘Freckles'[16] – pale pink blossoms, intensely spotted
‘Little Linda'[17] – bantam cultivar to 1 m (3.3 ft)
‘Olympic Fire'[18] – red buds opening pale pink
‘Pink Charm'[19]
handrail made with mountain shrub branches
Wood railing segment made with mountain tree limbs
The wood of the mountain tree is weighty and solid however fragile, with a nearby, straight grain.[20] It has never been a practical business crop as it doesn’t develop huge enough,[21] yet it is appropriate for wreaths, furniture, bowls and other family items.[20] It was utilized in the mid nineteenth century in wooden-works clocks.[22] Root burls were utilized for pipe bowls instead of imported briar burls out of reach during World War II.[21] It can be utilized for handrails or gatekeeper rails.

Mountain tree is noxious to a few creatures, including horses,[23] goats, steers, deer,[24] monkeys, and humans,[25] due to grayanotoxin[26] and arbutin.[27] The green pieces of the plant, blossoms, twigs, and dust are all toxic,[25] including food items produced using them, for example, poisonous honey that might deliver neurotoxic and gastrointestinal indications in people eating more than an unassuming amount.[26] Symptoms of harmfulness start to show up around 6 hours following ingestion.[25] Symptoms incorporate unpredictable or trouble breathing, anorexia, continued gulping, abundant salivation, watering of the eyes and nose, cardiovascular misery, incoordination, discouragement, regurgitating, incessant poo, shortcoming, convulsions,[27] paralysis,[27] unconsciousness, and in the long run demise. Necropsy of creatures who have kicked the bucket from spoonwood harming show gastrointestinal hemorrhage.[25]

Use by Native Americans
The Cherokee utilize the plant as a pain relieving, putting an imbuement of leaves on scratches made over area of the pain.[28] They likewise rub the bristly edges of ten to twelve leaves over the skin for stiffness, pound the passes on to rub brier scratches, utilize a mixture as a wash “to dispose of irritations”, utilize a compound as a liniment, rub leaf overflow into the scratched skin of competitors to forestall spasms, and utilize a leaf balm for recuperating. They additionally utilize the wood for carving.[29]

The Hudson Bay Cree utilize a decoction of the leaves for the runs, however believe the plant to be poisonous.[30]

^ Stritch, L. (2018). “Kalmia latifolia”. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T62002834A62002836. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T62002834A62002836.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
^ “NatureServe Explorer 2.0 – Kalmia latifolia”. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
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a b c “Kalmia latifolia”. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 12 December 2017.
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a b Keeler, Harriet L. (1900). Our Native Trees and How to Identify Them. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. pp. 186–189.
^ The Natural Communities of Virginia Classification of Ecological Community Groups (Version 2.3), Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2010 Archived 2009-01-15 at the Wayback Machine
^ Schafale, M. P. and A. S. Weakley. 1990. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina: third approximation. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation.
^ National Park Service
^ McNabb, W. Henry. “Kalmia latifolia L.” (PDF). United States Forest Service. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
^ Nimmo, John R.; Hermann, Paula M.; Kirkham, M. B.; Landa, Edward R. (2014). “Pollen Dispersal by Catapult: Experiments of Lyman J. Briggs on the Flower of Mountain Laurel”. Physics in Perspective. 16 (3): 383. Bibcode:2014PhP….16..371N. doi:10.1007/s00016-014-0141-9. S2CID 121070863.
^ Nimmo, John R.; Hermann, Paula M.; Kirkham, M. B.; Landa, Edward R. (2014). “Pollen Dispersal by Catapult: Experiments of Lyman J. Briggs on the Flower of Mountain Laurel”. Physics in Perspective. 16 (3): 371–389. Bibcode:2014PhP….16..371N. doi:10.1007/s00016-014-0141-9. S2CID 121070863.
^ Morrissey, Laurie D. “Mountain Laurel”. Center for Northern Woodlands Education. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
^ “Kalmia latifolia”. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for Gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 978-1845337315.
^ Shreet, Sharon (April–May 1996). “Mountain Laurel”. Flower and Garden Magazine. Archived from the original on 2012-05-26.
^ Jaynes, Richard A. (1997). Kalmia: Mountain Laurel and Related Species. Portland, OR: Timber Press. ISBN 978-0-88192-367-4.
^ “RHS Plantfinder – Kalmia latifolia ‘Freckles'”. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
^ “RHS Plantfinder – Kalmia latifolia ‘Little Linda'”. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
^ “RHS Plantfinder – Kalmia latifolia ‘Olympic Fire'”. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
^ “RHS Plant Selector – Kalmia latifolia ‘Pink Charm'”. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
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a b “Species: Kalmia latifolia”. Fire Effects Information Service. United States Forest Service. Retrieved Oct 3, 2011.
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a b “Mountain Laurel”. Wood 2001-10-29. Retrieved Oct 3, 2011.
^ Galbraith, Gene (September 12, 2006). “The legacy of the Ogee Clock”. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
^ “Mountain Laurel”. ASPCA. Retrieved Oct 3, 2011.
^ Horton, Jenner L.; Edge, W.Daniel (July 1994). “Deer-resistant Ornamental Plants” (PDF). Oregon State University Extension. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-29. Retrieved Oct 3, 2011.
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a b c d “Kalmia latifolia”. University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Retrieved Oct 3, 2011.
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a b “Grayanotoxin”. Bad Bug Book. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. May 4, 2009. Archived from the original on March 14, 2010. Retrieved Oct 7, 2011.
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a b c Russell, Alice B.; Hardin, James W.; Grand, Larry; Fraser, Angela. “Poisonous Plants: Kalmia latifolia”. Poisonous Plants of North Carolina. North Carolina State University. Archived from the original on 2013-01-04. Retrieved Oct 3, 2011.
^ Taylor, Linda Averill 1940 Plants Used As Curatives by Certain Southeastern Tribes. Cambridge, Massachusetts. Botanical Museum of Harvard University (p. 48)
^ Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey 1975 Cherokee Plants and Their Uses – A 400 Year History. Sylva, N.C. Herald Publishing Co. (p. 42)
^ Holmes, E.M. 1884 Medicinal Plants Used by Cree Indians, Hudson’s Bay Territory. The Pharmaceutical Journal and Transactions 15:302–304 (p. 303)