Mountain Laurel Flowers & Festivals 2017
Why do people love mountain laurel?
Perhaps it's the pretty bell-shaped flowers, ranging in color from white to pink, that make mountain laurel a beloved plant.
Or maybe it's laurel's ubiquitous nature that inspires so much widespread devotion.
In some parts of the world, it's difficult to look out of a window in spring without seeing Kalmia latifolia elegantly brightening the landscape. After a grim, gray winter, who isn't grateful to see so much beauty so easily, almost carelessly, displayed?
Mountain Laurel, from Bud to BloomClick thumbnail to view full-size
Mountain laurel's hardy constitution and its generosity are other good reasons to praise it. It thrives in diverse environments, from woodlands to swamps, and provides a habitat for songbirds and small mammals.
Mountain laurel is also evergreen, adding welcome color to winter forests with its arched limbs that dangle green leaves shaped like donkey ears.
Is it any wonder that people celebrate mountain laurel each year?
The Year's First Mountain Laurel Festival Is in Georgia.
The first mountain laurel festival of the year takes place in Clarksville, Georgia.
Mountain Laurel Festivals 2017
Mountain Laurel Carnival & Festival
musical entertainment, carnival, fireworks, antique auto show, parade
Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival
musical entertainment, crafts, parade, 5K walk/run, golf tournament, carnival, festival queen competition
Pennsylvania State Laurel Festival
pageant, bicycle race, foot race, gospel sing, musical entertainment, arts & crafts, parade, pet parade
parade, pageant, ball, vendors, plant sale
Western Pennsylvania Laurel Festival
pageant, carnival, parade, craft and sidewalk sale, food court, battle of the bands, karaoke
Will you attend a flower festival this year?
Mountain Laurel Plant Profile
Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) grows wild in the woods, meadows, slopes, ridges and swamps of the eastern United States.
It's native to many states, including Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Virginia, Washington, DC and West Virginia.
It's also the state flower of both Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
In places where mountain laurel is not native, it can easily be grown as a foundation plant, just like azaleas and rhododendrons, which are part of its plant family, Ericaceae.
Blueberries, huckleberries and cranberries are also members of the Ericaceae family.
Depending upon its location, mountain laurel can grow from a foot in height up to 20 feet.
It flowers from May through July, producing capsule-shaped brown fruit.
Because it's an evergreen, mountain laurel's leaves don't change color in autumn, remaining an attractive medium green year round.
Mountain laurel is extremely hardy and versatile. It can thrive in shade, partial shade and full sun. It grows well in dry, moist and wet soils of all types--organic matter filled with decaying bark and leaves; finely textured, silty clay; sandy, coarsely textured soil; and loamy soil comprised of silt and sand and clay.
It's only absolute requirement? Like blueberries and other members of the Ericaceae family, mountain laurel likes acidic soil, preferring a pH of 4.5 to 6.
Mountain Laurel Texas Style!
High Deer Resistance
Some plants that are touted as deer resistant are eaten by them anyway when other food is scarce.
Mountain laurel, however, truly is deer resistant: its leaves are poisonous to all hooved creatures, including deer, horses, mules and goats. Deer will avoid it--even when they're hungry.