Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Kalmia microphylla
western bog laurel

Distribution: Both sides of the Cascades in Washington; Alaska south to California; east in British Columbia to the Rockies, south to Colorado.

Habitat: In moist and wetland areas from the coast to higher elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June-September

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Low, evergreen shrub from short rhizomes, seldom over 1 dm. tall, the young stems puberulent, soon becoming glabrous.


Leaves opposite, leathery, entire, dark green above and grayish below, short-petiolate, oblong-lanceolate to linear-elliptic, 1-2 cm. long and less the half as broad.


Flowers terminal on the shoots, long-pedicellate in a leafy-bracted, several-flowered inflorescence; calyx deeply 5-parted, the lobes ovate, 2-3 mm. long; corolla united, 5-lobed, shallowly bowl-shaped, up to 12 mm. broad, deep pinkish-rose; stamens 10, the anthers recessed in grooves in the corolla in the bud; style slender, straight, equaling the stamens; ovary superior.


Capsule 5-celled, sub-globose, 2-3 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Kalmia microphylla (Hook.) A. Heller
Publication: Bull. Torrey Bot. Club. 25: 581. 1898.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Kalmia polifolia Wangenh., misapplied [FNA8]
var. microphylla – alpine-laurel, bog laurel    Alaska to California, east to Colorado
var. occidentalis – Western swamp laurel    West of the Cascades in Washington; Alaska south to Oregon.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Kalmia microphylla in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Kalmia microphylla checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Kalmia microphylla atlas page.

CalPhotos: Kalmia microphylla photos.

USDA Plants: Kalmia microphylla information.

51 photographs:
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