Mountain laurel

The mountain laurel are close to bloom throughout the county. Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is an evergreen shrub that naturally occurs on dry upland sites where the soils have a low, acidic pH. Mountain laurel often grow in dense groves along the east slope of Catoctin Mountain or other dry sites. The laurel has a single stem and more of a tree shape in the south; in Maryland, and northward, it looks more like a shrub with multiple stems. The sap of this plant is poisonous to many animals and quite flammable so that the plants can cause very dangerous flare ups during forest fires. Many ornamental varieties of Mountain laurel have been developed since it is a very deer resistant plant. However, this plant needs drier, well-drained sites with acid soils to grow well. Also, this plant should. It be placed too close to a house since it is very flammable. The blooms should be on these trees for a few more weeks.

Mountain Laurel will soon be blooming. It often grows in dense groves along the East slope of Catoctin Mountain or other dry sites.

Article by Mike Kay, FCFCDB member

Nature Note for 5/14/22