Kalmia microphylla

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Kalmia microphylla (Hook.) A.Heller

Ericaceae

Life form: shrub
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: half shade - Exposure: shade   2

Moisture: moist

Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam

Arrangement: alternate
Leaves: evergreen

Shape: ovate

Division: simple

Shape: five-stellate
Fruit: septicidal capsule

82C / 7b4c9a 

Inflorescence: solitary

Petals: not specified
Habit: not specified

Growth form: not specified

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Rosopsida
Subclassis:
Dilleniidae
Superordo:
Ericanae
Ordo:
Ericales

Kalmia microphylla is a shrub.

Naming

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.

Taxonomy

Kalmia microphylla is a species in the genus Kalmia which contains approximately 11 to 25 species and belongs to the family of the Ericaceae (Heath Family).

Characteristics

Growth

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

Leaves

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.

Root System

Distribution

Kalmia microphylla is native to Alaska, western Canada, Manitoba, Ontario, the Northwest of the US, the Rocky Mountains and California.

Cultivation

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 -45°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

Uses

The recommended planting distance is 1,2 to 1,5 metres.

Maintenance and Propagation

Propagate by sowing or by cuttings.

Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große 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.

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