By Sandy Schenck
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.