Botanical Name

Kalmia latifolia

Year Adopted

1907

Peak Bloom

May to June

History

Mountain Laurel is native to North America and was first recorded in 1624.

Fun Fact

Almost all of the parts of the mountain laurel are poisonous to wildlife and humans.

Connecticut state flower - Mountain Laurel

At the turn of the 20th century, over 3,000 women urged Connecticut’s state legislature to adopt the beautiful Mountain Laurel as the Connecticut state flower. However, not everyone embraced the idea at first. One senator grumbled that floral emblems were unnecessary. Ultimately though, as supportive lawmakers received sprigs of Mountain Laurel on their desks, it prevailed becoming the state flower of Connecticut in 1907.

As one of the most beautiful flowering plants in America, it’s easy to see why all of those women wanted the Mountain Laurel as the Connecticut state flower. Every year in the months of May and June, the Mountain Laurel bursts with masses of bright tiny blooms. These colorful flowers turn roadsides, wildernesses and suburban yards throughout the state delightful colors of pink, white or red.

The Mountain Laurel grows throughout the eastern half of the U.S., including the southern region of Connecticut. During blossom time, the Mountain Laurel’s beautiful flowers line the roadsides and put on a floral show for drivers along Interstate 95. Clumps of the Connecticut state flower are also prominent along the scenic Merritt Parkway as well as in the northern half of Connecticut.

Each year visitors head to Haystack Mountain State Park in Norfolk to hike amongst the laurel bushes. Hikers can view these beauties under stands of spruce fir or in the open clearings along the trails. In addition to being the state flower of Connecticut, the Mountain Laurel is also the state flower of Pennsylvania where it appears annually in the Appalachian Mountains.

Growing Information

Soil

Well-drained

Sun

Full Sun/Partial Shade

Zones

5 - 9