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Plants of the UNF Campus

Kalmia latifolia - Mountain laurel
Family Ericaceae



Seven species of Kalmia are native to North America and the Caribbean. The mountain laurel’s natural range of the eastern United States extends south into the Florida’s panhandle. It is an attractive evergreen shrub with clusters of white and pink flowers in spring. The anthers of the flowers are held under tension until an insect brushes against them. Then, the anther pops forward and puts pollen on the insect. The plant contains toxic compounds and is known to be fatal to livestock that browse on it.



See plants at the northeast corner of building 3.


Slow growing shrub to ten feet or more in height.

Care Instructions:

Light: part shade to shade

Water: moist, well-drained soil, not soggy, not drought tolerant

Soil: acidic, moist, well-drained soil


Plants from this southern part of mountain laurel’s range will grow and flower in the Jacksonville area. Plant it in a shady, well-drained site with irrigation during prolonged dry spells.