The Mountain Laurel (kalmia latifolia) is the official state flower for Connecticut. The Mountain Laurel is probably the most beautiful of Native American shrubs and also happens to be the state flower for Pennsylvania as well. The Mountain Laurel, which is also a wildflower, was brought over to Europe in the 18th century as an ornamental plant and is widely grown for its attractive blossoms.
Mountain Laurels have a wide range of color which attracts many newcomers and natives alike to Connecticut. Its fragrance and the massed richness of its white and pink blossoms so vividly contrast with the darker colors of the forests and the fields that they have continually attracted the attention of travelers since the earliest days of our colonization. The Connecticut State Flower is a pride and joy to the people in Connecticut for its welcoming and lush appeal. The colors of the flowers range from red to pink, to white. The Connecticut State Flower blooms between May and June and have an interesting trait that which ejects pollen when tripped by a bee.
The Connecticut State Flower is also known as the Ivy Bush, Calico Bush, Spoonwood, Sheep Laurel, Lambkill, and Clamoun. The Connecticut State Flower was officially made the state flower by the General Assembly in 1907 and is generally found on rocky slopes or wooded areas. These beautiful flowers also come with their price. The leaves on the Mountain Laurel are poisonous which can affect browsing livestock and even bees.
Here are some facts about the Connecticut State Flower to be aware of: - Mountain Laurel is a flowering plant of the Ericaceae family. - The Mountain Laurel can reach a height of 20 feet. - The Mountain Laurel was first recorded in America in 1624 - The leaves are yellow-green and shiny on top. - The plant often grows in large thickets, covering large areas of the forest floor. - Stupendous colorful displays are the hallmark of this bush. - This plant, which is relatively strong, is used by artisans to make tobacco pipes, chairs and small tables. - The plant is long lived and can live up to 100 years.
First mentioned in John Smith's "General History," in 1624 specimens were sent to Linnaeus, the famous botanist, by the Swedish explorer Peter Kalm in 1750. 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. As with any state flower, State laws protect the Connecticut State Flower, which means a large fine for pulling the bush from its natural habitat and transplanting it into one’s own yard, or trying to sell it for gain. Many tourists who visit Connecticut have come to appreciate the state flower and enjoy its beauty, but even visitors are also under state law to just admire the bush from afar. Next time you visit Connecticut, take the time to look, observe and notice the beautiful state flower, in all its color and glory, especially between the months of May and June when in full bloom. You will not be disappointed.