Kalmia microphylla ssp. occidentalis
At a Glance: Small, slender-branched shrub with dark green waxy leaves and clusters of bright pink flowers.
|Sun/Shade Tolerance||Hydrology||Elevation Range||
full sun > 80%
mostly sunny 60%-80%
partial sun and shade 40%- 60%
mostly shady 60%-80%
full shade > 80%
Wetland Indicator Status:
FACW (facultative wetland)
|prefers peaty soils|
well drained soils
nutrient rich soils
nutrient poor soils
Aquatic and Wetland:
Ponds or lakes
Swales or wet ditches
Seasonally inundated areas
Marshes or swamps
Aquatic bed wetlands
Seeps, springsShorelines and Riparian:
Streams or rivers
Stream or river banks
In or near saltwater
Coastal dunes or beachesRocky or Gravelly Areas:
Slide areasSub-alpine and Alpine:
Forests and Thickets:
Forests and woods
Old growth forests
Forest edges, openings, or clearings
ThicketsMeadows and Fields:
Pastures or fields
Meadows or grassy areas
Mossy areasDisturbed Areas:
Nectar for hummingbirds
Nectar for butterflies
Host for insect larvae
Thickets and shelter
Thorny or protective cover
Birds: Structure provides cover and nesting for various bird species.
|Ethnobotanical Uses and Other Facts||
Medicinal Uses: The Tlingit used an infusion of the bog laurel to treat skin ailments. The Kwakwakawaku boiled the leaves to make an extract that was drunk to treat spitting blood or used to wash open sores which would not heal.
Name Info: This plant is called bog laurel because its leaves resemble bay/laurel leaves. The Latin name Kalmia is named for Pete Kalm, and 18th century student of Linnaeus. The Latin name microphylla directly means small-leaved.
- Alden, P., D. Paulson. 1998. National Audubon Society, Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest. Chanticleer Press. Page 114.
- Cooke, S.S. A Field Guide to the Common Wetland Plants of Western Washington and Northwetern Oregon. Seattle Audubon Society and Washington Native Plant Society. Page 27.
- Lyons, C., W. Merilees. Trees and Shrubs to Know in Washington and British Columbia. Lone Pine Publishing. Page 123.
- Pojar, J., A. Mackinnon. 1994. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Lone Pine Publishing. Page 65.
The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.