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Kalmia latifolia
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

mountain laurel

K. latifolia is a dense, bushy, medium-sized evergreen shrub with glossy dark green leaves. Flowers in large clusters, bright pale pink, opening from deeper pink, attractively crinkled buds in late spring and early summer

Other common names
American mountain laurel
broad-leav'd kalmia
see morecalico bush
spoonwood tree

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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
1.5–2.5 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Pink Green
Summer Pink Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or West–facing or East–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Ericaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Ingestion may cause severe discomfort. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling
Genus

Kalmia are evergreen shrubs with simple, leathery leaves and racemes or corymbs of bowl-shaped flowers in spring or summer

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Eastern N America

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moist but well-drained acidic soil in partial shade, or in sun where the soil remains reliably moist; mulch in spring with leaf mould or well-rotted pine needles

Propagation

Propagate by semi-ripe cuttings in midsummer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
Pruning

Pruning group 8

Pests

Can get mealybugs and vine weevil

Diseases

Generally disease free

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