Evergreen shrubs or small trees. Twigs moderate or slender; pith small, continuous. Buds minute, solitary, sessile; terminal bud abortive. Leaves alternate (or seemingly opposite or in whorls of 3), entire. Leaf-scars half-round or shield-shaped; bundle-trace a transverse line; stipule-scars none. Fruit a small globose capsule persistent in winter.

Fig. 251. Kalmia latifolia

Fig. 251. Kalmia latifolia.

Fig. 252. Kalmia angustifolia

Fig. 252. Kalmia angustifolia.

Fig. 253. Kalmia polifolia

Fig. 253. Kalmia polifolia.

a. Large shrubs or small trees


K. latifolia ,

a. Low shrubs

b. Twigs terete


K. angustifolia

b. Twigs 2-edged


K. polifolia

1. K. latifolia L. Mountain Laurel. Calico-Bush. Shrub or small tree, up to 10 m. high, generally much smaller; twigs glabrous; leaves elliptic to elliptic-lanceolate, 5-10 cm. long, acute or short-acuminate; capsule glandular, 5-7 mm. in diameter. Rocky woods, Florida to Louisiana, north to New England, Ohio, and Indiana (Fig. 251).

2. K. angustifolia L. Lambkill. Sheep-Laurel. Slender shrub up to 1.7 m. high; branches terete, strongly ascending; leaves evergreen, opposite or in whorls of three, flat, thin, oblong to elliptic-lanceolate, glabrous or puberulent, ferruginous when young. Acid soil, Labrador to Manitoba, south to Virginia, Georgia and Michigan (Fig. 252).

3. K. polifolia Wang. Pale-Laurel. Bog-Laurel. Slender straggling shrub to 7 dm. high, with 2-edged branches; leaves evergreen, opposite or in threes, firm,lanceolate or linear, 0.7-3. 5 cm. long, lustrous-green above, conspicuously whitened beneath. Peat bogs, Labrador to Alaska, south to Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Idaho, and Oregon (Fig. 253).