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.
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
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