Plant Data Sheet


Bog Laurel, Kalmia microphylla

photo credit: UW Library Digital Collection, Plants of Western Washington Collection


Southern Alaska to California, east to Alberta and Colorado (Evans et al, 2001)


Climate, elevation:

Tundra and boreal climates, low elevation in Washington (Cooke, 1997), high elevation in Colorado (Evans et al, 2001)


Local occurrence:

Somewhat uncommon due to reduction of habitat. Found west of Cascades (Cooke, 1997)


Habitat preferences:

Sphagnum bogs and fens (Cooke, 1997) Wet to very wet soil, low in nitrogen, shade intolerant (Klinka et al, 1995)


Plant strategy type/successional stage:

Stress tolerator, later succession (undisturbed bogs)


Associated species:

Ledum groenlandicum, Vaccinium oxycoccus, Sphagnum sp. (Cooke, 1997)

May be collected as:

Seed (Baskin and Baskin, 1998)

Hardwood cuttings (Evans et al, 2001)


Collection restrictions or guidelines:

Flowers May through September (Cooke, 1997)


Seed germination:

71-112 day cold stratification has been used (Baskin and Baskin, 1998)

also found to be non dormant and germinate at 22° C (Baskin and Baskin, 2002)


Seed life:

not found


Recommended seed storage conditions:

not found


Propagation recommendations:

The following protocol for cuttings is from, Evans et al, (2001) working in Montana:

Hardwood cuttings are collected in early September

Cutting length, 6 cm heel or mallet cutting

Cuttings kept moist and cool prior to treatment

Cuttings treated with 4000 ppm liquid IBA (could try 8000 to 10,000 PPM and double-wounding base of cuttings),

mist, and 22°C bottom heat in 50% peat, 50% perlite media in greenhouse.

Misted once a day, but high humidity chamber would be the preferred system

Cuttings grown for 4-5 months

Transplanted to 800 ml (4.5 inch) pots in spring, but don't fill-out pots until fall of second year

~20% rooting


Soil or medium requirements:

50:50 Peat: Perlite (Evans et al, 2001)


Installation form:

800 ml (4.5 inch) container


Recommended planting density:


Care requirements after installed:


Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan:

Slow, long-lived


Sources cited:

Baskin, Carol and J.M. Baskin 1998. Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography and Evolution in Dormancy and Germination, Table 10.30, Chapter 10: A Geographical Perspective on Germination Ecology: Temperate and Arctic Zones. Academic Press, 666 p.

Baskin, Carol. and Jerry M Baskin, 2002. Propagation protocol for production of container Kalmia microphylla (Hook.) Heller plants; University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky. In: Native Plant Network. URL: (accessed 12 May 2003). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.

Cooke, Sarah Spear. 1997 A Field Guide to the Common Wetland Plants of Western Washington & Northwestern Oregon. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, WA 415 p.

Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale; Luna, Tara. 2001. Propagation protocol for vegetative production of container Kalmia microphylla (Hook) Heller plants (800 ml containers); Glacier National Park, West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: (accessed 12 May 2003). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.


Klinka, K., V.J Krajina, A. Ceska, and A.M Scagel. 1995 Indicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia. UBC Press Vancouver B.C. 288p.

Data compiled by:

Matthew Ramsay, May 12, 2003