Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mountain Laurel

The mountain laurel, Kalmia latifolia, is blooming in our woods. I read the plant is poisonous to horses, goats, cattle, deer, monkeys and humans. Even honey made from the flowers is poisonous and is called toxic honey. The plant is not poisonous to bees however. The honey would be extremely bitter so hopefully one would not like to eat it. I'm not sure how beekeepers can keep their bees from the plant. Next time I talk to a local beekeeper I'll see what they say.

The plant is also commonly called spoon-wood because Native Americans would make spoons from the wood. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. I never heard that about spoon I've learned something this early in the day!

  2. Danielle and I walked through the woods in Asheboro the other day and saw some bushes that we thought were Mountain Laurel... we were wondering when they bloomed in NC. I guess the answer is any day now!

  3. Mountain laurel is so beautiful. I have a friend who lives in eastern Tennessee. When she was married we cut huge bunches of mountain laurel around her home for wedding decorations.

  4. My daughter lives in the Hill Country around San Antonio. They have an abundance of Mountain Laurel. It is beautiful. Didn't know about the toxic honey. They had considered raising bees... I wonder if they know this. Thanks for the info.

  5. How very beautiful. I wonder whether the native people used the sap to add extra punch to their arrows?

  6. Hi Barbara, thanks, I learn something from my own blog every day. Ha.

    Hi Michele, thanks, I think that neck of the woods has similar blooming times as here.

    Hi Joanne, thanks, that must have been something seeing those gracing the area for the wedding.

    Hi Rian, thanks, I didn't realize this about mountain laurel either, definitely something to consider.

    Hi Elephant's Child, thanks, you know that is a good (or bad) idea.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment