alpine laurel Ericaceae Kalmia
microphylla (Hook.) A. Heller symbol: KAMI
Leaf: Opposite, evergreen, lanceolate to narrowly oblong, 1/2 to 1 inch long, distinctly rolled leaf edges, leathery, shiny dark green above, nearly white below and finely fuzzy.
Flower: Terminal cluster of pretty pink to purple, bell-shaped flowers each 3/8 inch across; appear in summer.
Fruit: Small, 5-parted, round (a bit urn-shaped), woody capsules, ripen in early fall and persistent through the winter and into spring.
Twig: Slender, fuzzy when young, later reddish brown to gray and smooth,two edged or lined; buds reddish brown, round.
Bark: Grayish brown, smooth with a few shallow fissures.
Form: Small, much branched shrub up to 18 inches but usually much smaller, often falling over and matted.
Looks like: bog laurel
Additional Range Information: Kalmia microphylla is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting alpine laurel.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)