Family:
Ericaceae
Scientific Name:
Kalmia latifolia
Toxins:
grayanotoxins
Flower Color:
Found:
upland, woodlands, coastal, waterside

Geographical Distribution

Mountain laurel distribution - United States

Mountain Laurel

Kalmia latifolia

Calico-bush, Ivy, Ivybush, Kalmia, Laurel, Spoonwood
5/ 10
Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia ) is a medium to large, densely branched evergreen shrub or small tree. It is found commonly throughout the Appalachian Mountain region, coastal plains, alongside streams, and on cool, forested slopes throughout the eastern United States. It has thick, shiny, leathery dark-green leaves on top of the leaves and pale-green color underneath. It produces showy, bowl- shaped rounded clusters of different shades of pink and white flowers. Mature fruits are inconspicuous dry capsules that eventually split open to release extremely tiny seeds. K. latifolia forms dense patches referred to often as "laurel hells" or "ivy thickets".

Toxic components
K. latifolia leaves and berries are toxic to poultry if ingested; they contain grayanotoxins (andromedotoxins) and sodium channel activators. Symptoms develop between 30 min to up to 6 hours following consumption.