Pennsylvania State Flower
Mountain laurel was designated the official Pennsylvania State Flower in 1933. The mountain laurel’s unique, umbrella-like flowers have long attracted attention. Early European explorers made journal notes about the striking native American shrub as far back as 1624. Every spring and summer, the Pennsylvania woods are filled with pink mountain laurel blossoms. The spectacular floral display attracts nature lovers from Allentown to Waterford.
Despite its beauty, mountain laurel is poisonous to animals and humans. All parts of the plant are toxic if ingested in significant quantities. The Cherokee used mountain laurel leaves as an analgesic, and as a topical remedy for rheumatism. Native Americans also used the wood for carving bowls and other tools. Mountain laurel was imported to Europe during the 18th century. The ornamental plant is widely appreciated for its attractive flowers and glossy evergreen leaves.
Mountain Laurel Facts
Common Name: Mountain Laurel
Scientific Name: Kalmia latifolia
Year Adopted: 1933
Peak Bloom: May to June
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