Mountain Laurel

Kalmia latifolia

Mountain Laurel in bloom

Mountain laurel is an evergreen native shrub that can grow to the size of a small tree. Known for its beautiful pink or white flowers in clusters at the end of its branches, mountain laurel provides winter cover for wildlife and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies when in bloom. All parts of the plant are toxic when ingested, though the Cherokee used the leaves to make salves to treat wounds. Honey made primarily from its blossoms is also toxic. Its hard gnarled wood was used for tool handles and can be used by wood turners to make handcrafted objects. Pioneers made pipes for smoking tobacco from laurel burls.

Sponsor: Brevard Music Center

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