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Kalmia latifolia 'Elf' and 'Keepsake'

Kalmia latifolia 'Elf' and 'Keepsake'
mountain laurel
Kalmia latifolia 'Elf' and 'Keepsake'

Common name mountain laurel
Family ericaceae
Life cycle shrub (Z4-8)
Flowers white-pink (spring)
Size 2-3'
Light part shade
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil (not too dry)

Got this as a tiny mail-order shrub last spring, and was pleased to see it bloom already this year. Having seen beautiful mountain laurels along hikes through Pennsylvania, this is one plant I've wanted for a long time. The delicate buds are as pretty as the open flowers. Hopefully, its position with Eastern exposure will satisfy its need for part shade. Unfortunately, it just gave up after a couple years, when it was still small. Several years later, I purchased another variety, named 'Keepsake', at a local nursery. It started bigger than 'Elf' ever was, so hopefully it will prove to be more robust.

mountain laurel
'Keepsake' in bud

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

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