This beautiful evergreen shrub is a close rival of the magnificent Rhododendron, and has been adopted as the state flower of Connecticut. It grows usually from three to eight feet high and upward, and often forms dense thickets that defy passage. It has been known to attain a rare height of forty feet with a diameter of eighteen inches. The wood is exceedingly hard and very heavy, a cubic foot weighing forty-four pounds. The leafy, angular branches are very stiff and irregular. The handsome, shining, dark green leaves are long-oblong in shape and pointed at either end. They are toothless, strongly ribbed, and smooth. They have very short stems, and are arranged either alternately or in opposite pairs, or terminally in small, clustered groups. The beautiful, fragrant flowers vary from pink to white, and are arranged on short, sticky stems in numerous, large, showy, terminal clusters, each of which is closely surrounded with drooping or hollowed leaves, like individual bouquets. The flowers are curiously constructed. The corolla is bowl-shaped with five low points, and around the middle, on the outside, there is a circle of ten short, blunt projections forming, on the inside, tiny pockets in which are held the tips of the ten stamens. The silky, white stamens are arched backward from the centre of the corolla somewhat like spokes in a wheel. The pale green pistil has a ten-pointed star outlined in purple around its base, corresponding to the hub of the wheel. A slight touch releases the stamens from the little pockets and they snap violently toward the pistil, scattering a little shower of pollen and thereby accomplishing the purpose for which they were intended. The pink bud is cone-like and corrugated. The green calyx is insignificant. Honey made from these flowers has been found to be poisonous, and the Government has classed the Kalmias among our principal poisonous plants. The foliage is very destructive to cattle and sheep. It contains a dangerous substance which, when eaten, is more deadly than strychnine. Children have been overcome from the intoxicating effects of eating the young shoots, which they have mistaken for Wintergreen. The Indians were familiar with the poisonous nature of the leaves and made a decoction therefrom which they drank when disposed with suicidal intent. The leaves have also been used illegally to simulate the effects of cheap liquors. This handsome genus of American Laurels was dedicated to Peter Kalin, who was a pupil of Linnaeus, and who travelled in this country. The Mountain Laurel blossoms during May and June in rocky, hilly woods and damp soil from Canada and Ohio to the Gulf States.