Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel Bloom

This gorgeous native shrub, Kalmia latifolia, is now blooming. They begin to bloom along the coast and warmer low lying areas in mid May. By June those found in the blue ridge mountains begin to open up. If you're out hiking in any wilder woody area, this is a great time to catch a glimpse of their truly, beautiful and unique hexagonal flowers. 

There are slopes of mountain laurel along the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail (see post under "Trails").  There are also large groves along the Calvert Cliff Trails. 

Various cultivated forms of this shrub are also used in the landscape (see photo below).  One challenge with growing this lovely evergreen native is the deer love to eat it.  Keep it protected if you have deer.  All parts of this plant are poisonous to us -- but that is no deterrent to the deer.  The range for this plant extends from southern Maine to northern Florida and west to Indiana.  It is the state flower of Connecticut and Pennsylvania.