Kalmia- Calico Bush

Little known, evergreen ornamental shrubs, not very winter-hardy.

Situation A plant for a sheltered position, for instance in a heath garden; unless the soil remains very damp, partial shade is useful.


Definitely acid, constantly damp, soil.

Propagation By layering or from seed sown under glass.

Kalmia angustifolia: Height to 1 m; clusters of pink flowers in early to mid summer. Leaves leathery, 4 cm long, 1.5 cm across, in whorls of 3 or 4 or growing opposite. ‘Rubra’ is a garden form with flowers of a darker hue. Kalmia latifolia: Height to 3 m; clusters of rose-red flowers in mid to late spring. Leaves to 13 cm long, 5 cm across, somewhat leathery, growing opposite, scattered, or in whorls. ‘Myrtifolia’ is a dwarf form.

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