Kalmia microphylla (Hook.) A.Heller
Kalmia microphylla is a shrub.
Kalmia microphylla was already described and the name validly published by William Jackson Hooker. It was Amos Arthur Heller, however, who reclassified it into todays valid botanical systematics in 1898.
The shrubs reach heights of 5 to 30 centimetres and are comparatively slow-growing and long-lived. They have a decumbent habit with multiple stems and spread slowly. The main growing season is in spring and summer. The plants reach a width of 10 to 30 centimetres.
Wood and Bark
Kalmia microphylla is evergreen. The green, simple leaves are alternate. They are ovate, entire and petiolate.
Flowers and Fruits
Kalmia microphylla produces solitary showy, purple five-stellate flowers from May to June.
In summer the shrubs produce only few brown septicidal capsules that are persistent on the plant.
Kalmia microphylla is native to Alaska, western Canada, Manitoba, Ontario, the Northwest of the US, the Rocky Mountains and California.
The shrubs prefer a half-shady to shady situation on moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy or gritty-loamy and comparatively poor with a pH between 6 and 7,3. The plants need a soil depth of at least 30 centimetres for good growth. They tolerate temperatures down to -45Â°C (USDA zone 2) and need a frost-free period of at least 12 weeks.
Tolerance of special soil conditions
- none: soil salinity
- low: drought
- medium: anaerobic soil, calcareous soil
The recommended planting distance is 1,2 to 1,5 metres.
Maintenance and Propagation
Propagate by sowing or by cuttings.
Pests and Diseases
- Walter Erhardt, Erich GÃ¶tz, Nils BÃ¶deker, Siegmund Seybold: Der groÃe Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
- Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.