Genus: Kalmia

Kalmia latifolia L.
Kalmia latifolia L.

Mountain Laurel

Photo © Peter Nelson, 1972, taken in the New Jersey pine barrens.

By Steven Clemants

Not peer reviewed

Last Modified 02/07/2013

Back to Ericaceae


Kalmia L., Sp. Pl. 1: 391. 1753. Gen. Pl. 185. 1754. Chamaedaphne Catesby ex Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 388. 1891, nom. illeg. (Art. 53.1). TYPE: Kalmia latifolia L., designated by Britton (1908).

Key to the species of Kalmia

1. Leaves in whorls of 3; sepals glandular setose...Kalmia angustifolia
1. Leaves opposite; sepals glabrous...2

2. Leaves lanceolate, over 1 cm broad...Kalmia latifolia
2. Leaves linear, less than 0.5 cm broad...Kalmia polifolia

List of Kalmia Species

References to Kalmia

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  • Bergman, H. F. 1920. Internal stomata in ericaceous and other unrelated fruits. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 47: 213-21.
  • Bixby, W. G. 1881. Kalmia poisonous to sheep. Gard. Monthly & Hort. 23: 372.
  • Britton, Elizabeth G. 1913. Wild plants needing protection. 8. "American or mountain laurel" (Kalmia latifolia L.). J. New York Bot. Gard. 14: 121-3.
  • Britton, Elizabeth G. 1925. A freak of the mountain laurel. J. New York Bot. Gard. 26: 187-90.
  • Buttrick, P. L. 1924. Connecticut's state flower, the mountain laurel, a forest plant. Publ. Marsh Bot. Gard. 1: 1-28.
  • Carey, F. M.; Lewis, J. J.; MacGregor, J. L.; Martin-Smith, m. 1959. Pharmacological and Chemical Observations on Some Toxic Nectars. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 11: 269.
  • Catterell, W. A. 1980. Neurotoxins that act on voltage-sensitive sodium channels in excitable membranes. Ann. Rev. Pharmacol. Toxicol. : 15-43.
  • Chastain, R. A.; Townsend, P. A. 2008. Role of evergreen understory shrub layer in the forests of the central Appalachian Highlands. J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 135: 208-223.
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  • Coladoanto, M. 1991. Kalmia latifolia. ()
  • Copeland, H. F. 1943. A study, anatomical and taxonomic, of the genera of Rhododendroideae. Amer. Midl. Naturalist 30: 533-625.
  • Cox, H. T. 1948. Studies in the comparative anatomy of the Ericales. I. Ericaceae - subfamily Rhododendroideae. Amer. Midl. Naturalist 39: 220-45.
  • Curtis, W. 1792. Kalmia latifolia. Bot. Mag. 5: pl. 175.
  • Curtis, W. 1792. Kalmia glauca. Bot. Mag. 5: pl. 177.
  • Curtis, W. 1795. Kalmia angustifolia. Narrow-leaved Kalmia. Bot. Mag. 9: pl. 331.
  • Davidson, D. W. 1966. Response of six shrub species to light regimes in two controlled-environment rooms. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 93: 432-437.
  • Dudley, T. W. 1967. Ornamental mountain laurel. Amer. Hort. Mag. 46: 245-8.
  • Ebinger, J. E. 1974. A systematic study of the genus Kalmia (Ericaceae). Rhodora 76(807): 315-98.
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  • Enlows, E. M. A. 1918. A leafblight of Kalmia latifolia. J. Agric. Res. 13: 199-212. (pl. 14-17)
  • Fernald, M. L. 1940. A new southern Kalmia. Rhodora 42: 53-4.
  • Flemer, W. 1949. The propagation of Kalmia latifolia from seed. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 76: 12-6.
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  • Gray, A. 1871. Dialysis with staminoidy in Kalmia latifolia. Amer. Naturalist 4: 373-4.
  • Gray, A. 1877. On some remarkable specimens of Kalmia latifolia. Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. 19: 75-6.
  • Hagerup, O. 1928. Morphological and cytological studies of Bicornes. Dansk Bot. Ark. 6: 1-27.
  • Hall, I. V.; Jackson, L. P.; Everett, C. F. 1973. The biology of Canadian weeds: I. Kalmia angustifolia L. Canad. J. Pl. Sci. 53: 865-73.
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  • Hasskarl, J. K. 1863. Uber kalmia latifolia L. Bot. Zeitung (Berlin) 21: 237-9.
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  • Holmes, M. L. 1956. Kalmia, the American laurels. Baileya 4: 89-94.
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  • Inderjit.; Mallik, A. U. 1996. The nature of interference potential of Kalmia angustifolia. Canad. J. Forest Res. 26: 1899-904. (French summary; also Picea mariana)
  • Jacobs, M. L.; Lloyd, W. R. 1939. A phytochemical study of Kalmia angustifolia. J. Amer. Pharm. Assoc. 28: 408-12.
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  • Jaynes, R. A. 1968. Self incompatibility and inbreeding depression in three laurel (Kalmia) species. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 93: 618-22.
  • Jaynes, R. A. 1968. Interspecific crosses in Kalmia. Amer. J. Bot. 55: 1120-5.
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  • Kurmes, E. A. 1961. The ecology of mountain laurel in southern New England. Ph.D. Dissertation Yale University, New Haven85 p.
  • Kurmes, E. A. 1967. The distribution of Kalmia latifolia L. Amer. Midl. Naturalist 77: 525-6.
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  • Leins, P. 1964. Entwicklungsgeschichtliche Studien an Ericales-Bluten. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 83: 57-88. (In German)
  • Levri, M. A. 1998. The effect of timing of pollination on the mating system and fitness of Kalmia latifolia (Ericaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 85: 1626-1630.
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  • Lovell, H. B. 1951. The mechanisms of pollination. II. Flowers with unusual pollinating mechanisms. Bees 5: 18-20, 23.
  • Lovell, J. H.; Lovell, H. B. 1934. The pollination of Kalmia angustifolia. Rhodora 36(422): 25-8.
  • Malek, A. A. 1989. Influence of light and temperature on seed germination of mountain laurel. J. Environ. Hort. 7: 161-162.
  • Mallik, A. U. 1994. Autoecological response of Kalmia angustifolia to forest types and disturbance regimes. Forest Ecol. & Manag. 65: 231-49.
  • Mallik, A. U. 1993. Ecology of a forest weed of Newfoundland: vegetative regeneration strategy of Kalmia angustifolia. Canad. J. Bot. 71: 161-6.
  • Mallik, A. U. 1987. Allelopathic potential of Kalmia angustifolia on black spruce (Picea marian). Forest Ecol. & Manag. 20: 43-51.
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  • Peterson, E. B. 1965. Inhibition of black spruce primary roots by a watersoluble substance in Kalmia angustifolia. Forest Sci. 11: 473-9.
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