Kalmia is a genus composed of about 10 species in the family Ericaceae, which are found in North America.
These evergreen shrubs produce attractive leathery leaves and clusters of showy, beautiful bowl-shaped flowers. Kalmias are well-known ornamentals and popular garden plants.
The genus was named in honor of Pehr Kalm (1716-1779), a Swedish botanist and naturalist.
The name “Spoonwood” has also been used for this plant. It is believed the roots Kalmia were used to make spoons.
Kalmia is a symbol of perseverance.
It can also be offered as a sign of treachery.
Interesting facts about Kalmia:
Is Kalmia Poisonous?
The plant can be harmful or even deadly to animals if ingested.
Kalmia angustifolia is also known as “Sheep’s Laurel” or “Lambkill”, because it’s poisonous to sheep.
Kalmia latifolia is also poisonous to several different animals and even humans. It irritates skin, eyes and causes an upset stomach and vomiting in people.
Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) in USA
Kalmia latifolia, commonly called Mountain Laurel is one of the most popular species. It is the state flower of Connecticut and Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, the species is known to occur annually in the Appalachian Mountains.
It is one of the most beautiful of native American shrubs.
The flowers are usually pink, purple, lavender or white.
These plants range from 25 cm (1 ft) to 5 metres (16 ft) in height.
The plant prefers moist, well drained and acidic soil.