In the Garden Now: Dwarf Mountain Laurel

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Kalmia Minuet

Story and photos by Victoria Gilleland

Two of my favorite Dwarf Mountain Laurel are in bloom in our early summer garden.

'Elf' is a showy white variety that actually starts out with a pinkish cast to its flowers. As flowers open they become bright white. You'll notice highly textured bumpy buds and softer open flowers on the shrub as blossoms unfold.

'Minuet' has pinkish buds that open to white flowers with a maroon stripe around the inside edge of the flower. This petite shrub with the unusual striped flowers is a real surprise to those who see it for the first time.

Kalmia Elf white grass

These are compact varieties that are typically 3-4' high and wide. Larger Mountain Laurel varieties may be anywhere from 6-15' high and wide which may be too large for most home gardens. The more sizeable varieties are sometimes trained into small flowering trees which can be quite attractive.

Mountain Laurel are native to Eastern North America and are evergreen. When grown in their home area they do well with natural rainfall and little additional care. Our PNW climate is a bit different so it can be a challenge to find just the right garden home for them here. I've noticed that they tend to flower better with more rather than less sun.

Bees and hummingbirds like these flowering shrubs. Rabbits and Deer not so much. These hungry critters have not touched our plants but how well I know that could change in an instant!

Mountain Laurel makes a lovely addition to the summer garden.

(Kalmia latifolia 'Elf' & Kalmia latifolia 'Minuet')

Previous In the Garden Now articles here


Anonymous,  June 26, 2024 at 6:42 PM  

Very interesting/pretty blooms!

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