Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is The Official State Flower Of Connecticut. Mountain Laurel Was Designated as the State Flower by the General Assembly in 1907 and Mountain Laurel, (Kalmia latifolia,) also called ivy-bush, calico bush, sheep laurel, lambkill, Clamoun. Mountain Laurel is perhaps the most beautiful of native American shrubs. Connecticut State Flower is fragrance and the massed richness of its white and pink blossoms so vividly contrast with the darker colors of the forests.
The fields that they have continually attracted the attention of travelers since the earliest days of our colonization. State Flower Of Connecticut Linnaeus gave it the name of Kalmia latifolia, honoring the name his Correspondent and at the same time describing the “wide-leafed” Characteristic of the Plant. Mountain laurel is a large evergreen flowering shrub native to the eastern United States.
In old age, the plants become picturesque with gnarly trunks and limbs. At the Arboretum, they are planted at the base of Hemlock Hill where they are protected from the full effects of the sun by the hill behind them and the soil is moist and cool. The beauty of the State Flower Of Connecticut is heightened by the dark background of hemlocks. In June, mountain laurels produce an abundance of flowers in terminal panicles. When fully expanded each flower is nearly an inch in diameter.
The fused petals (collectively called the corolla) range in color from white to dark pink. The inner surface is usually marked with a waving dark rose-colored line and delicate purple speckles. Look closely at the State Flower Of Connecticut to see that each one has 10 stamens. When the flowers first open, the anthers are tucked into little pockets in the corolla. The filament is sensitive and when touched (usually by insects) it springs up, releasing the anther and its pollen.
Connecticut State Flower Kalmia is a genus which is native only in North America and is mostly confined to the eastern part of the country. It is one of the most beautiful of hardy flowering shrubs and for New England the most valuable of the broad-leaved evergreens. Connecticut State Flower is a member of the heath family (Ericaceae) which also includes another well-known late spring flowering evergreen, rhododendron.
Facts About Mountain Laurel:
1. The plant is also long-lived and can be active for up to 100 years. The Mountain Laurel Fruit is a brown, five celled capsule about 6mm (.25″) wide, which is seen in Rocky woods.
2. The plant often grows in large thickets, covering large areas of the forest floor.
3. The Mountain laurel plant leaves are alternate, with each leaf shiny and entire. The leaves are 3-12 cm long and 1-4 cm wide.