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Indigenous flowers Pennsylvania
The Mountain Laurel (Kalmia Latifolia) holds the distinct honor of being Pennsylvania’s state flower. It was enacted by general assembly on March 5, 1933. It is actually an evergreen shrub. This means it does not shed leaves. Thus, you will be able to enjoy this Pennsylvania indigenous flower’s foliage, even during winter!

This Pennsylvania indigenous flower comes as a shrub. It can grow up to a height of 9 meters, making some varieties more “tree” than “shrub”. The plants can be found scattered on mountainous forest areas. You can identify this Pennsylvania indigenous flower by its very distinctive star-shaped blossoms. They are usually evident during the months of April to June, when they bloom.

The plant was first cultivated as an ornamental shrub. Even today, it still has the same use. This is mainly because of its evergreen nature and the beauty of its blossoms. Its bark is tinged with dark red, as is the wood. This makes it a handsome wood for crafting. In fact, one of its little-known uses was for the making of wood-clocks in the past. Actually, this Pennsylvania indigenous flower is not only the state flower of Pennsylvania; it occupies the same station in the state of Connecticut.

A word of caution: all parts of this indigenous flower of Pennsylvania are poisonous. That means you cannot eat any part of it. How toxic is it? Well, one might take a lesson from the insect world. Did you know that moths will only accept it as a food source if there’s truly nothing else they can eat? Did you also know that, when bees make honey using materials derived from the Mountain Laurel, the resulting honey is toxic? These are just some indications about just how toxic the plant can be.

What about humans? Well, if you manage to ingest a part of the plant, you will first begin to feel the effects after 6 hours. This is because it will require that long to be fully digested. When the six hours are up, you will begin to feel symptoms such as profuse salivation, repeated swallowing, disorientation, vomiting, difficulty breathing and others. You will also experience anorexia, which basically means that you won’t have the appetite to eat anything. You will then experience cardiac distress; eventually leading to coma and death. The same thing happens to animals when they ingest any part of this indigenous flower from Pennsylvania. Because of this, Mountain Laurel is sometimes also known as Lambkill.

However, it still does have its use as an ornamental plant. Many people have cultivated various varieties in order to produce more beautiful flowers. Seeing the Mountain Laurel in full bloom will certainly take your breath away and make you truly appreciate this Pennsylvania indigenous flower.

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