It is the namesake of Laurel County in Kentucky, the city of Laurel, Mississippi, and the Laurel Highlands in southwestern Pennsylvania. Because of its toughness and its native status As long as you live in the right climate, growing Texas The Texas Mountain Laurel Tree (Calia secundiflora) also called the Mescal bean. [7], Kalmia latifolia is notable for its unusual method of dispensing its pollen. [9] Physicist Lyman J. Briggs became fascinated with this phenomenon in the 1950s after his retirement from the National Bureau of Standards and conducted a series of experiments in order to explain it. Texas mountain laurel is a tough evergreen shrub or small tree known for its attractive, fragrant flowers and extreme drought hardiness. [10], Kalmia latifolia is also known as ivybush or spoonwood (because Native Americans used to make their spoons out of it).[11][12]. Mountain laurel is a member of the heath or heather family, Ericaceae. Kalmia latifolia, commonly called mountain laurel,[3] calico-bush,[3] or spoonwood,[3] is a broadleaved evergreen shrub in the heather family, Ericaceae, that is native to the eastern United States. Jaynes has numerous named varieties that he has created and is considered the world's authority on Kalmia latifolia.[14][15]. [5][6] In low, wet areas, it grows densely, but in dry uplands has a more sparse form. [22] Root burls were used for pipe bowls in place of imported briar burls unattainable during World War II. fragrant flowers and its extreme drought hardiness. Texas Mountain Laurel Won’t Bloom: Troubleshooting A Flowerless Texas Mountain Laurel, Mountain Laurel Transplant Tips – How To Transplant Mountain Laurel Bushes, Mountain Laurel Cold Hardiness: How To Care For Mountain Laurels In Winter, Prickly Kale Leaves – Does Kale Have Thorns, Corn Husk Wreath Ideas: How To Make A Corn Husk Wreath, DIY Air Plant Wreaths: Wreath Making With Air Plants, Carmona Lettuce Information: Growing Carmona Lettuce In The Garden, Horse Chestnut Propagation Methods: How To Propagate Horse Chestnut Trees, Red Toch Garlic Info: Tips For Growing Red Toch Garlic Bulbs, Flashy Butter Oak Lettuce Info: Growing Flashy Butter Oak Lettuce In Gardens, Thanksgiving Tradition: Turning Homegrown Pumpkins Into Pie, Growing Thanksgiving Dinner – Must Have Turkey Side Dishes, Interesting Uses For Pecans: What To Do With Pecans, The Bountiful Garden: Bringing The Garden To Thanksgiving. Mountain laurel is the state flower of Connecticut and Pennsylvania. It thrives in acidic soil, preferring a soil pH in the 4.5 to 5.5 range. Slow growing, it can reach up to 30 feet (15 m.) in height This family includes rhododendrons, azaleas, blueberries, and cranberries, all of which are woody shrubs that thrive in moist, well-drained acidic soil. Featuring air-conditioned accommodations with a balcony, Mountain Laurel Tree House is located in Highlands. Sylva, N.C. Herald Publishing Co. (p. 42), Holmes, E.M. 1884 Medicinal Plants Used by Cree Indians, Hudson's Bay Territory. [27] The green parts of the plant, flowers, twigs, and pollen are all toxic,[25] including food products made from them, such as toxic honey that may produce neurotoxic and gastrointestinal symptoms in humans eating more than a modest amount. In the Appalachians, it can become tree-sized but is a shrub farther north. It blooms in May and June. Its flowers are round, ranging from light pink to white, and occur in clusters. [4] The species is a frequent component of oak-heath forests. blossoms with an intense fragrance that has been compared, not All parts of the plant are poisonous. Read more articles about Texas Mountain Laurel. What is a Texas mountain laurel? It is hardy down to 5 degrees F. (-15 C.) and can usually When an insect lands on the flower, the tension is released, catapulting the pollen forcefully onto the insect. Mountain laurel will grow in USDA Zones 5 to 9 in deep shade to full sun, but it does best in moderate to partial shade. The Pharmaceutical Journal and Transactions 15:302–304 (p. 303), 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T62002834A62002836.en, "NatureServe Explorer 2.0 - Kalmia latifolia", "Pollen Dispersal by Catapult: Experiments of Lyman J. Briggs on the Flower of Mountain Laurel",, Trees of the Great Lakes region (North America), Natural history of the Great Smoky Mountains, Plants used in traditional Native American medicine, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 26 September 2020, at 11:49. Of no relation to the flowering mountain laurel shrub native to the eastern United States, this shrub/tree is a native of the Chihuahuan desert. The leaves are 3–12 cm long and 1–4 cm wide. The Raspberry Glow Mountain Laurel is a rounded, evergreen shrub that grows to be about 4 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet across, with leaves to the ground for a long time, eventually developing an attractive gnarly base of twisted stems. Calia secundiflora, formerly Sophora secundiflora) ranges from Texas through the American Southwest and down into Mexico. [25], The Cherokee use the plant as an analgesic, placing an infusion of leaves on scratches made over location of the pain. heat and drought tolerant, and it actually thrives in poor conditions. needs full sun. [13], The plant was originally brought to Europe as an ornamental plant during the 18th century. Botanical Museum of Harvard University (p. 48), Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey 1975 Cherokee Plants and Their Uses – A 400 Year History. containing bright orange seeds that, while beautiful, are very poisonous and [26] Symptoms of toxicity begin to appear about 6 hours following ingestion. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! In the southern Appalachians, laurel thickets are referred to as "laurel hells" because it's nearly impossible to pass through one. [21] It can be used for handrails or guard rails. A desert native, the plant is both They also use the wood for carving. in the Southwest, it is an excellent choice for xeriscaping It prefers well-draining, rocky, infertile soil, and it maintenance is low. These flowers eventually give way to thick seed pods If you’d like to learn more about growing Texas mountain laurels in the landscape, the following article can help get you started. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Numerous cultivars have been selected with varying flower color. survive winters in USDA zone 7b. Many of the cultivars have originated from the Connecticut Experiment Station in Hamden and from the plant breeding of Dr. Richard Jaynes. It produces vivid blue/purple flowers shaped like wisteria Its range stretches from southern Maine south to northern Florida, and west to Indiana and Louisiana. unkindly, to grape flavored Kool-Aid. As the flower grows, the filaments of its stamens are bent and brought into tension. It will produce very fragrant purple hanging flowers in early spring, usually around late March to early April. mountain laurels is very easy and rewarding. It is the namesake of Laurel County in Kentucky, the city of Laurel, Mississippi, and the Laurel Highlands in southwestern Pennsylvania. [20] It has never been a viable commercial crop as it does not grow large enough,[21] yet it is suitable for wreaths, furniture, bowls and other household items. Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora), also known as mescal bean, is an attractive evergreen shrub that grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 11. They grow up … Mountain laurel is poisonous to several animals, including horses,[23] goats, cattle, deer,[24] monkeys, and humans,[25] due to grayanotoxin[26] and arbutin. [8] Experiments have shown the flower capable of flinging its pollen up to 15 cm. Roots are fibrous and matted. Sign up for our newsletter. [28] They also rub the bristly edges of ten to twelve leaves over the skin for rheumatism, crush the leaves to rub brier scratches, use an infusion as a wash "to get rid of pests", use a compound as a liniment, rub leaf ooze into the scratched skin of ball players to prevent cramps, and use a leaf salve for healing. The Latin specific epithet latifolia means "with broad leaves" – as opposed to its sister species Kalmia angustifolia, "with narrow leaves". All parts of this plant are toxic if ingested. For the Rachel Field novel, see, Taylor, Linda Averill 1940 Plants Used As Curatives by Certain Southeastern Tribes. [30], Blooming and wilted flowers on the same flower head, "Calico bush" redirects here. There are several named cultivars today that have darker shades of pink, near red and maroon pigment. Also known as mescal bean, the Texas mountain laurel (Dermatophyllum secundiflorum syn. 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