Kalmia latifolia L.

Mountain Laurel, Calico Bush

Flowers and buds

Flowers and buds


Family: Ericaceae

Genus: Kalmia

Category: Shrub - Evergreen

Zones: 4 to 9

Size: 7 to 15' tall, 3 to 5' wide

Growth Rate: Slow

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun, Part Shade


Alternate, glossy dark green leaves, 2 to 5" long, lighter new growth. White to pink flowers in clusters, bowl-shaped, in late Spring. Dense, rounded form. Moist, well-drained soil, will tolerate dry soil but not wet. Leaves may yellow in winter. Afternoon shade or light shade in higher zones.



Native to the eastern USA and Canada.

Introduced to cultivation in 1734.

Published in Sp. Pl. 1: 391 in 1753. Linnaeus cites Catesby's Natural History Volume II Plate 98.

Synonym: Chamaedaphne latifolia (L.) Kuntze.

RHS Award of garden merit in 2002.


Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner