British Columbia Native Plant of the Day: Kalmia microphylla
Hardiness Zone: 3-9
Common names: alpine laurel; swamp laurel; western bog-laurel
A small shrub from the heath/heather family Ericaceae. Likes cool peat bogs, moist meadows, and the forest floor. Very common throughout BC except dry interior areas. Runs from Alaska down to California and inland into several western states, Alberta, NWT, Yukon with populations in Ontario and Manitoba as well.
Known for its flowers and evergreen leaves. Many cultivars of the eastern species K latifolia are quite popular. Unfortunately all Kalmia are extremely poisonous and kill all sorts of cow, sheep, and grouse every year. Honey produced from this plant can even be toxic to humans.
Photo from Wiki Commons Author Walter Siegmund