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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Kalmia polifolia Wangenh.
Bog laurel, Pale laurel, Swamp laurel
Synonym(s): Chamaedaphne glauca, Kalmia polifolia ssp. polifolia, Kalmia polifolia var. rosmarinifolia
USDA Symbol: kapo
Bog Laurel or Swamp Laurel is a low, prostrate, broadleaf-evergreen mat, less than 3 ft. high. Trailing stems send up erect branches with glossy, leathery, dark blue-green foliage. Small, bell-like, pink flowers cluster together in groups of two to five. The fruit is a woody capsule.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Dark Green Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: May , Jun
, WI Canada: AB
, SK Native Distribution:
Lab. to AK,
s. to CT., n. prairie provinces, WA
& w. U.S. mts. Native Habitat:
Cold bogs; cold, wet, mt. meadows
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Wet, organic soils & peat.
Conditions Comments: Chlorosis is caused by iron deficiency on limy soils. Swamp laurel is shade and flood tolerant.
BenefitWarning: POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Highly Toxic, Maybe Be Fatal if Eaten! Symptoms include: salivation, watering of eyes and nose, slow pulse, nausea, vomiting, sweating, abdominal pain, headache, tingling of skin, lack of coordination, convulsions, paralysis. Toxic Principle: Andromedotoxin, a resinoid; arbutin, a glycoside. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Propagation is by seeds under a mist tent or by summer cuttings.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Alternatives to non-native heather (Calluna vulgaris)
April 27, 2007
I live in Vernon, BC, Canada. I plan to put a heather plant in my garden, but my space is limited. I know that it will grow approx. 2 ft. high and that it likes well drained and acidic soil, but how...
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
|Status:|| OBL || OBL || OBL |
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Mt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2010-05-01
Research By: TWC Staff