Bloomin’ Mountain Laurel


I was four wheeling at Blue Creek again yesterday and we came across mountain laurel in bloom.
Mountain laurel is related to the rhododendron, though it blooms a little earlier, as the summer solstice approaches. The woods in West Virginia are just thick with them in places, though they don’t always bloom some years in the lower altitudes. Hmm. Anyone know why? They are blooming this year.


  1. cabynfevr says:

    I’ve always heard it’s because it’s a hardwood and they don’t generally bloom well every year… generally alternate years they are at their best. Similar to lilacs.

  2. brookdale says:

    Beautiful! So glad you have the time to go on a ride and smell (and photograph) the flowers. By the way, do they smell good too? Or just look beautiful?

  3. jodiezoeller says:

    It’s a different plant than the Texas mountain laurel (smells like grapes or a grape hychinth). Both are very pretty.

  4. Dghawk says:

    We have plenty of Mountain Laurel here in East Central Virginia, and it blooms profusely every year. I have several thickets of it along my driveway. I’ve noticed that it does bloom every year, but usually on the new growth of the previous year. Ours starts blooming about mid-May. I still have a few blooms left, but most are now gone. As for them not doing well in the lower altitudes, maybe it depends on if the frost gets the buds. How are the blackberries over there? Since we didn’t have much frost this spring, all the canes I’ve checked are full. Fresh Blackberry Cobbler on the 4th of July! YUM!!!

  5. holstein woman says:

    Do the Mt. Laurel bloom different colors like the Rhodies? Just beautiful flowers. The Rhodies have to have the flowers trimmed off after the bloom so they will do better next year. (Or at least DH says so).

  6. NancyL says:

    Years ago I did a lot of hiking in the North Georgia mountains, and loved seeing these in bloom. However, I never could remember the difference between Mtn Laurel and Rhododendrons – kept mixing them up.

    Nancy in Iowa

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