The Mountain Laurel is the state flower of Pennsylvania. Its scientific name is Kalmia latifolia. It belongs to Ericaceae family. Kalmia is the genus of the Mountain Laurel flower and its species is K. latifolia. The Pennsylvania’s state flower Mountain Laurel is commonly known as Mountain Laurel, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Spoonwood, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill and Clamoun and American Laurel. It is a broadleaved evergreen shrub in the heather family, Ericaceae that is native to the eastern United States. Its array enlarges from southern Maine south to northern Florida, and west to Indiana and Louisiana.
Notwithstanding its popularity, the Mountain Laurel wasn’t initially a shoo-in as the state flower of Pennsylvania. In the year of1930 while the Pennsylvania General Assembly was discussed on the selection of their state flower symbol. They have lot of doubt about the nominated flowers, which should represent the state and it sent the Governor bills naming two different flowers as Pennsylvania’s favorite. The flowers are the Mountain Laurel and the Pink Azalea. The then Gov. Gifford Pinchot and his wife, (according to some accounts,) finally chose the Mountain Laurel. Now, there is no doubt Pennsylvanians universally are glad to that he did. On the basis of the above the state authority designated the Mountain Laurel or Kalmia latifolia as the state flower of Pennsylvania. It is also the state flower of Connecticut.
State Flower of Pennsylvania Facts:
- Common Name: Mountain Laurel, Ivybush, Calico Bush, Spoonwood and American Laurel
- Genus: Kalmia
- Species: Kalmia latifolia.
- Found in: native to the eastern United States
- Color: white to rose colored with purple markings
- Number of petals: 5
Period of blooming: June and July
- Purpose: Ornamental
- Symbolism: Beauty and modesty of a young girl.
The Pennsylvania’s state flower Mountain Laurel is an evergreen shrub mounting to 3–9 m tall. The leaves are 3–12 cm long and 1–4 cm wide. Its flowers are round, array from light pink to white, and arise in clusters. There are several named cultivars today that have dark shadows of pink, near red and maroon pigment. Mountain Laurel blooms in May and June. Surprisingly all the parts of the Mountain Laurel plant are poisonous. Roots are fibrous and matted. The plant is naturally originating on stony slopes and hilly forest regions. It flourishes in acidic soil, preferring a soil pH in the 4.5 to 5.5 range. The plant repeatedly grows in hefty thickets, wrapper enormous areas of the forest. The species is a frequent component of oak-heath forests. In low, wet areas, it grows densely, but in dry uplands has a more inadequate form.The leaves of the Mountain Laurel are oval, leathery, and glossy, and change from light-green to dark-green to purple throughout the year.
Mountain laurel prefers to preeminent grown in speckled sunlight, but it also grows healthy in full sun or partial shade. It needed to keeping away from the locations of full sun in permutation with replicates light from heat-reflecting southern or southwestern walls. Another thing is that the mountain laurel will thrive where the azaleas and rhododendrons cab grow well.
The Pennsylvania’s state flower Mountain laurel is poisonous to several different animals, including horses, goats, cattle, deer, monkeys, and humans, due to grayanotoxon and arbtin. All the green parts of the plants, flowers, twigs, and pollen are toxic and the food products, which are made from them that symptoms include: salivation, watering of eyes and nose, slow pulse, nausea, vomiting, sweating, abdominal pain, headache, tingling of skin, lack of coordination, convulsions, paralysis.
To sum up, Mountain Laurel or Kalmia latifolia is the state flower of Pennsylvania that symbolizes profuseness and sovereignty also the spirit of the state that makes it as the state flower of Pennsylvania.