When does this bloom?
Where does this bloom?
130.5, 162.9, 347.9, 380, 400
It is an evergreen shrub growing to 3-9 m tall. The leaves are 3-12 cm long and 1-4 cm wide. Its flowers are star-shaped, ranging from red to pink to white, and occurring in clusters. It blooms between May and June. All parts of the plant are poisonous. Roots are fibrous, matted.
The plant is naturally found on rocky slopes and mountainous forest areas. The plant often grows in large thickets, covering large areas of forest floor. In North America it becomes a tree on the mountains of the Carolinas but is a shrub further north.
It is also known as Ivybush, Calico Bush, Spoonwood (because native Americans used to make their spoons out of it), Sheep Laurel, Lambkill and Clamoun.
Mountain laurel is poisonous to several different animals, including horses, goats, cattle, sheep, and deer, due to andromedotoxin and arbutin. The green parts of the plant, the flowers, twigs, and pollen are all toxic, and symptoms of toxicity begin to appear about 6 hours following ingestion.
Poisoning produces anorexia, repeated swallowing, profuse salivation, depression, uncoordination, vomiting, frequent defecation, watering of the eyes, irregular or difficulty breathing, weakness, cardiac distress, convulsions, coma, and eventually death. Autopsy will show gastrointestinal irritation and hemorrhage.
The plant was originally brought to Europe as an ornamental plant during the 18th century. It is still widely grown for its attractive flowers. Numerous cultivars have been selected with varying flower color. Does not flourish in a limestone country.
This is one of the most satisfactory shrubs for lawn or garden. When in full bloom it is of surpassing beauty, and its bright evergreen leaves make it conspicuous at any time.