Kalmia Calico Bush


Common name: Calico bush

Family: Ericaceae

Acid soil conditions are essential to grow these attractive shrubs. There are eight species, with Kalmia latifolia and its forms the most widely grown.


Popular species and varieties

kalmiaThe mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) (AGM) grows to around 1.8m (5ft) in height. It has glossy foliage, similar in many ways to that of rhododendron.

The 15cm (6in) long clusters of flowers appear in late spring. Of the varieties,’Ostbo Red’ (AGM) is a good choice, its bright red buds open to pale pink. ‘Olympic Fire’ has large pink flowers. Others to look for include ‘Minuet’, possessing a dwarf habit and offering maroon flowers;’Alpine Pink’, pink buds open to reveal pink and white flowers, and ‘Bullseye’, reddish foliage and bronze-red blooms.



Soil type Moist, acid soil.

Planting Choose a lightly shaded spot; plant in the autumn or spring.

Maintenance Pruning is not required. Remove the dead flower clusters.

Propagation Cuttings of around 7cm (3in), taken from semi-ripe wood in mid-summer Kalmias can also be layered.

Pests and diseases Generally trouble free.

19. May 2011 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Ornamental Shrubs | Tags: , | Comments Off on Kalmia Calico Bush


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