Facts about Mountain-Laurel shrub. "Scientific name for Mountain-Laurel shrub is Kalmia latifolia". The Mountain-Laurel is a member of the Ericaceous heath family. It is closely related to the azaleas and the rhododendrons and is sometimes known as Kalmia latifolia. The attractive Mountain-Laurel shrub grows into a rounded, large mound is native to eastern North America.
The Mountain-Laurel shrub can naturally grow to a height of about seven to fifteen feet (2.13 to 4.57 meters) tall with a spread of the same and rarely twenty to twenty five (6.09 to 7.62 meters) feet. However, the Mountain-Laurel shrub garden cultivar can grow up to a height of about five to eight (1.52 to 2.43 meters) feet. It is important to note that, there are various dwarf cultivars which can only grow to a maximum height of approximately three to four feet (.91 to 1.21 meters) with a similar spread. These dwarf cultivars are great for a small landscape setting. The Mountain-Laurel shrub is known to grow on rocky hill tops.
Mountain laurel shrubs are in the blueberry family "Ericaceae" and are acid-loving plants and flourish in well-drained soils with sunlight in the morning. The Mountain-Laurel shrub has dark-green colored foliage that tend to remain on the plant throughout the year. The foliage produce dark-green, glossy, broad, lance-shaped leaves which are leather-like in texture and are three to four inches (7 to 10 cm) in length. The leaves are smaller in size compared to the rhododendron leaves although they are similar in appearance.
Mountain-Laurel shrub blooms in late spring to produce clustered-blossoms of pink, red and white flowers 3/4 to 1 inch (1.9 to 2.5 cm) flowers. The naturally grown Mountain Laurel develops spectacular clusters of pink to white colored rose buds which open in the month of May to produce six pale pink to white clusters with three quarters to one inch long flowers.
Like most heath shrub families, the Mountain Laurel does well in acidic moist to well-drained soils which is rich in organic matter. The Mountain-Laurel shrub requires USDA zones of five to nine and partial shade. However, the shrub can tolerate full sun if established in moist soil conditions.
The Mountain laurel shrubs can provide a partially shaded ever green woodland site. It can also be used to enhance gardens and home yards due to its showy nature and the evergreen foliage which do not fall during winter periods.