Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kalmia Latifolia Means Lovely

Phillip Bouchard

While walking to lunch today I came across a gorgeous bush of flowering buds. I stole one tiny blossom and later googled "flowering red and white bush" thinking it was a long shot. However, I found the exact plant just three pages in. Technically called the Kalmia latifolia "Minuet", it is also a miniature Mountain Laurel variety.

The white blossoms are actually bowl shaped with no separated petals. They have red marks that seem to strike out from the middle, then a wide cinnamon-red band encircling the center, ending in white rimmed edges.

Looking at the large masses of blossoms, all I could imagine was a huge bunch of these in a white hobnail vase or a bouquet of these worn with a white wedding dress. Wouldn't that be lovely? Since they do grow as clusters on a branch, how simple would that bouquet be?

As seen in this illustration from the Project Gutenberg's Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers book by John Wood.

And if the plant was already in your yard as part of your landscaping, how cheap would that be?

The plant's blossoms flower from mid-May to mid-June. Other equally gorgeous varieties like 'firecracker' (seen near) can be seen here. More about this plant and it varieties can be found in Connecticut breeder Richard Jaynes' book, "Kalmia: Mountain Laurel and Related Species".


thecheckoutgirl said...

I have never seen anything like that. look how beautiful just the buds are!

lsaspacey said...

Yay! Checkout Girl read my blog! (I'm such a nerd)