Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

Mountain laurelThe spring flowering Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) provides a flush of light pink blooms after a harsh winter.  This evergreen shrub reaches a height of ten to twenty feet in its habitat range throughout the Appalachian mountains.

The flower buds have an intriguing shape prior to opening up fully.  They are also quite sticky to touch.

Mountain laurelThe flower’s style remains attached to the ovary, which becomes a developing seed capsule, for months after the flower’s corolla drops off.

Mountain laurelMountain laurel provides nice color during snowy winter days — with its green leaves and dark brown dried seed capsules.

Mountain laurel

Watch this video to see close images of the Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) flowers with their reproductive parts and their fertilization method, to learn about their leaves, to hear about the difficulty with penetrating a Mountain laurel thicket, and to see the plant in all seasons of its life cycle.

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(Here’s the same video as posted on YouTube.)

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