Mountain Laurel

The Mountain Laurel is the state flower of several states in the US, among them Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and grows in mountainous regions from Maine to Montana.

It reaches about 15 feet in height; however most trees, particularly those in very mountainous harsher regions do not achieve that reach, but will be about 8-10 feet tall.

Mountain laurel is an evergreen shrubbery, with the most amazingly beautiful star shaped flowers that range in color from bright pink to so pale pink that they appear to be white.

mountain laurel Mountain Laurel
Mountain Laurel

It flowers between April and June, dependent upon the climate, normally about mid May, when the first flowers appear, till the entire hillsides in the northern regions are completely awash with the pinks of the plants that are clustered so closely together.

The flowers appear on the plant in clusters that are rather bell shaped in nature.

Mountain Laurel plants are a perfect example of the beautiful but deadly, with all parts of the plant being poisonous

It is usually found on very rocky slopes, growing sideways in some cases on a very hilly or mountainous rock face, or in large thickets. It will in fact grow in vast masses, covering many acres of a forest floor.

Mountain Laurel does grow larger when it gets a bit further south, so that it is nearly treelike in height and weight near the mountainous areas of North Carolina, but further north it remains smaller and shrublike, topping out at about 8 or 9 feet.
Many names have been given to Mountain Laurel by the settlers and native Americans, among them, ivybush, calico bush, spoonwood, sheeps laurel, lambkill (because it is poisonous to the animals as well) and Clamoun.

The first time we see the plant recorded was by earliest settlers in America in about 1624.

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