Spring-loaded stamen

By Sandy Schenck

mountainlaurel

A unique feature of the mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is its “spring-loaded” stamen. When a bee lands inside the flower, it releases the stamen which flings the pollen on the bee.

In the Carolina mountains, the mountain laurel becomes a tree, but further up north, it’s normally found as a shrub.

Other names: spoonwood, calico bush and ivybush.