categoryZUnderShrubs UnderShrubs List 
categoryZEvergreen Evergreen List 
categoryZBrooadleaf Broadleaf List 

TRAILING AZALEA

MOUNTAIN AZALEA

Kalmia procumbens

(Formerly: Loiseleuria procumbens)
Heather Family [Ericaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

category
category8UnderShrubs
 
category
category8Evergreen
 
category
category8Broadleaf
 
status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8pink
 
inner
inner8red
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ5
(5-6)
stem
stem8round
 
toxicity
toxicityZmedium
 

June 2012, Summit of Stob Coire Raineach, 925m, Scotland. Photo: © Gordon Anderson
Grows only on the summits of mountains in Scotland. A low, prostrate under-shrub.


July 2012, Summit of Mullach Fraoch-choire, 1000m, Scotland Photo: © Gordon Anderson
Growing amidst a moss (top) and Alpine Lady's-Mantle (right).


July 2012, Summit of Mullach Fraoch-choire, 1000m, Scotland Photo: © Gordon Anderson
Leaves succulent-like at first glance. Flowers not at all like those of Yellow Azalea, much smaller, and with pink petals.


June 2012, Summit of Stob Coire Raineach, 925m, Scotland. Photo: © Gordon Anderson
Flowers, which open only partially, emerge on a stalk in pairs at the end of a leafy stem. Five pink triangular petals angled outwards at 45°. They five stamens with purple-red anthers (some specimens have six of each). Flowers almost identical to those of Purple Saxifrage, which also grows on (some) mountains, usually limestone, but the leaves are very different.


June 2012, Summit of Stob Coire Raineach, 925m, Scotland. Photo: © Gordon Anderson
Leaves are numerous and opposite each other on short stalks all along the stem. They are oval, thick almost succulent-like and with in-rolled margins. Fruits are red (top left).


June 2012, Summit of Stob Coire Raineach, 925m, Scotland. Photo: © Gordon Anderson
Lower part of plant is leafless, woody and highly branched. Opening flowers globular at first (centre bottom).


Not to be confused with : Yellow Azalea [a plant with similar name, and although both are in the Heather Family (Ericaceae), they are in differing Genera].

Easily mis-identified as : Purple Saxifrage since the flowers are nearly identical in shape and colour apart from the slightly pointed petals of Trailing Azalea, but although Purple Saxifrage also grows in much the same mountainous areas in Scotland, it also grows in mountainous areas elsewhere and has totally different leaves.

There are three other Kalmia species in the UK, Sheep-laurel (Kalmia angustifolia), Mountain-Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) (not to be confused with the alternative name for Trailing Azalea which is Mountain Azalea) and Bog-laurel (Kalmia polifolia), none of which are related in any way to Laurels and all of which are much abundant than Trailing Azalea. These Kalmia species may all be poisonous.

A hairless, mat-forming, prostrate under-shrub that grows on the bare summits of mountain in Scotland with no occurrence in the UK outside Scotland and its' islands.

Kalmia species are toxic, and should not be eaten. They are especially poisonous to sheep, especially Sheep-laurel. Many are also garden plants; care should be taken where they are planted. Plants from the Kalmia genus contain the toxic diterpene alkaloids Grayanotoxins (Andromedatoxin) which are also contained in Rhododendron plants. Also contains Arbutin which is a toxic quinone glucoside.


  Kalmia procumbens  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Ericaceae  

Distribution
 family8Heather family8Ericaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Kalmia
Kalmia
(Sheep-Laurels)

TRAILING AZALEA

MOUNTAIN AZALEA

Kalmia procumbens

(Formerly: Loiseleuria procumbens)
Heather Family [Ericaceae]