Definitions for kalmia
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word kalmia
any plant of the genus Kalmia
Any plant in the taxonomic genus Kalmia.
a genus of North American shrubs with poisonous evergreen foliage and corymbs of showy flowers. Called also mountain laurel, ivy bush, lamb kill, calico bush, etc
Origin: [NL. Named in honor of Peter Kalm, a Swedish botanist.]
Kalmia is a genus of about 8 species of evergreen shrubs from 0.2–5 m tall, in the family Ericaceae. They are native to North America and Cuba. They grow in acidic soils, with different species in wet acid bog habitats and dry, sandy soils. Kalmia was named by Linnaeus to honour his friend the botanist Pehr Kalm, who collected it in eastern North America during the mid-18th century. Earlier Mark Catesby saw it during his travels in Carolina, and after his return to England in 1726, imported seeds. He described it, a costly rarity, in his Natural History of Carolina, as Chamaedaphne foliis tini, that is to say "with leaves like the Laurustinus"; the botanist and plant-collector John Collinson, who had begged some of the shrub from his correspondent John Custis in Virginia, wrote, when his plants flowered, that "I Really Think it exceeds the Laurus Tinus." The leaves are 2–12 cm long, simple lanceolate, and arranged spirally on the stems. The flowers are white, pink or purple, in corymbs of 10-50, reminiscent of Rhododendron flowers but flatter, with a star-like calyx of five conjoined petals; each flower is 1–3 cm diameter. The fruit is a five-lobed capsule, which splits to release the numerous small seeds.
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