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Uses

Toxic parts

The foliage is poisonous to animals[1][2][3]. The whole plant is highly toxic[4].

Edible uses

There are no edible uses listed for Kalmia polifolia.

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Kalmia polifolia.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Swamp laurel is a very poisonous narcotic plant the leaves of which were at one time used by some native North American Indian tribes in order to commit suicide[5]. It is little, it at all, used in modern herbalism though the leaves are a good external treatment for many skin diseases and inflammation[5].

The leaves are astringent and sedative[5][1][6]. They are used externally to make a poultice or a wash in the treatment of many skin diseases, open sores, wounds that will not heal and inflammation[5][7].

Used internally, the leaves have a splendid effect in the treatment of active haemorrhages, diarrhoea and flux[5][1][6]. They should be used with great caution however, and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. See the notes above on toxicity.

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - surface sow in late winter in a cool greenhouse in light shade[8][9]. Prick out the young seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. The seedlings are rather sensitive to damping off, so water them with care, keep them well-ventilated and perhaps apply a fungicide such as garlic as a preventative. Grow the young plants on in light shade and overwinter them in the greenhouse for their first winter[8]. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. The seed is dust-like and remains viable for many years[9].

Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Very poor results unless the cuttings are taken from very young plants[10][8].

Layering in August/September. Takes 18 months[8]. The plants can also be dug up and replanted about 30cm deeper in the soil to cover up some of the branches. The plant can then be dug up about 12 months later when the branches will have formed roots and can be separated to make new plants[11].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Kalmia polifolia. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Requires an acid humus-rich soil, succeeding in part shade[12] or in full sun in cooler areas. Prefers almost full sun[10]. Dislikes dry soils[12], requiring cool, permanently moist conditions at the roots[1]. Succeeds in open woodland or along the woodland edge[11].

A very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -30°c[13]. A very ornamental plant[10], there are some named varieties[11].

Pruning is not normally necessary[11].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Kalmia polifolia. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Kalmia polifolia.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Kalmia polifolia
Genus
Kalmia
Family
Ericaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
2
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Kalmia poliifolia.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Kalmia poliifolia.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Kalmia poliifolia.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Kalmia poliifolia.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Kalmia poliifolia.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Kalmia poliifolia.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Kalmia poliifolia.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Kalmia poliifolia.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Kalmia poliifolia.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Kalmia poliifolia.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Kalmia poliifolia.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.






    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.4 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    2. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? Cooper. M. and Johnson. A. Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. HMSO ISBN 0112425291 (1984-00-00)
    4. ? Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.5 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.2 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.3 Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.3 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.4 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray ISBN 0-7195-5043-2 (1992-00-00)
    13. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Shrubs. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30258-2 (1989-00-00)

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