Kalmia latifolia 'Keepsake' - Mountain Laurel
Kalmia latifolia 'Keepsake'
Raspberry-red buds open into burgundy flowers edged in white. As the flowers fade, lush bronzy-red foliage erupts from the stems and matures to an interesting bluish sheen. Native shade-loving plant. Substantial and attractive late spring bloom. Perfect as a specimen, along a foundation or for grouping along a shady border. Tolerates rough soil
- Native shade loving plant
- Substantial and attractive late spring bloom
- Perfect as a specimen, along a foundation or for grouping along a shady border
- Tolerates rough soil
- Burgundy flowers edged in white
Rocky woods and cliffs; southeastern Maine to southern Ohio, south to southeastern Louisiana and western Florida.
Map Credit: The Biota of North America
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)
Mountain laurel has unique cupped flowers with each stamen held under tension in a tiny dent in the petal. When the stamens are brushed by a bee or other pollinator, they spring up and coat the insect with pollen which he carries with him to the next flower.
Plant in light shade with some sun for best flowering and best flower color development, especially with pink and red-flowered cultivars. Generally prefers well-drained, acid soil and will withstand drought. Does not tolerate heavy soils or poor drainage. Plant in raised beds if your soil does not drain well. Protection from winter sun and wind may be beneficial in northern climates to keep the foliage looking good through winter. Prune immediately after flowering in late spring by cutting branches to just above a set of leaves.