Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is a common plant, but so rarely appreciated for just how ridiculous it is. Its flowers, straight and intricately geometric, could have been drawn with a ruler and protractor; It’s branches and stems, by our three year old. Its an extremely amusing plant.
Mountain laurel grows throughout the forests here, both in the hollows and the mountains and is especially fond of ridge lines. It can grow to be quite large, almost tree like. Because of the vast differences in temperature and sunlight from ridge top to hollow you can find mountain laurel blooming through spring into summer.
Mountain laurel has no particularly legitimate medicinal uses, and is not edible, actually the entire plant is poisonous. What it lacks in use to us though it more than makes up for in beauty and curious intrigue.
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I had not , knowingly, seen mountain laurel until I was 70 – but had seen its mention in so many books. It’s beautiful – I didn’t realize it is poisonous – good to know!