April Showers bring May Mountain Laurels?
Pennsylvania is not the only state that declares the mountain laurel as it’s state flower. Connecticut does too! That’s because this close relative to the rhododendron is native to the eastern United States (from southern Maine to northern Florida and west to Indiana and Louisiana). The mountain laurel is one of the most beautiful of native American shrubs and the fragrant star-shaped white and pink flowers have attracted travelers since early colonial days (first recorded in America in 1624).
Despite its beauty, mountain laurel is poisonous to animals and humans. All parts of the plant are toxic if ingested in significant quantities although Native Americans did use it as a ointment on their skin to help relieve pain. Also, Native Americans used to call this plant spoonwood because they used to make spoons from the wood.
Did you know that the pink azalea almost beat out the mountain laurel as our state flower? Good thing Governor Gifford Pinchot’s wife in 1933 declared the mountain laurel as the winner and we’ve splendored at its beauty ever since.
Just for Fun Printable!
Click the words below to print out a picture to color*
of this native foliage:
Make It Yourself!
Mountain Laurels are generally white to pale pink but spring flowers come in all colors. Create these spring flowers in vibrant colors to brighten up your windowsill.
Click the words below to learn how:
Feast on Flowers!
Some people enjoy a fresh dandelion salad in the spring but I think these flowers would be a bit more tasty to make and share.