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Kalmia polifolia

Higher Taxonomy
Family: EricaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, shrub, tree. Stem: bark often peeling distinctively. Leaf: simple or 0, generally cauline, alternate, opposite (whorled), evergreen or deciduous, often leathery, petioled or not; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, cyme, or flowers 1, terminal or axillary, generally bracted; pedicel often with 2 bractlets. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, bell-shaped, cylindric, or urn-shaped; sepals generally (0)4--5, generally free; petals generally (0)4--5, free or fused; stamens (2--5)8--10, free, filaments rarely appendaged, anthers dehiscing by pores or slits, awns 0 or 2(4), seemingly abaxial, reduced or elongate, generally curved; nectary generally present at ovary base, generally disk-like; ovary superior or inferior, chambers generally 1--5, placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1--many per chamber, style 1, stigma head- to funnel-like or lobed. Fruit: capsule, drupe, berry. Seed: generally many, winged or not.
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 3000 species: generally worldwide except deserts; some cultivated, especially Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Rhododendron, Vaccinium. Note: Monophyletic only if Empetraceae included, as treated here. Ledum included in Rhododendron. Non-green plants obtain nutrition from green plants through fungal intermediates.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Gary D. Wallace, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: KalmiaView Description 

Habit: Shrub [small tree]; evergreen. Stem: prostrate to erect. Leaf: opposite [alternate, whorled], margins flat or rolled under. Inflorescence: flowers 1 in leaf axils [raceme], pedicel jointed to flower. Flower: sepals 5, fused near base; petals 5, fused, corolla generally rotate to cup-shaped with pockets holding anthers until dehiscence; stamens 10, filaments recurved toward corolla; ovary superior, chambers 5, placenta axile. Fruit: septicidal capsule, dehiscing tip to base, valves 5. Seed: small.
Species In Genus: 9--10 species: North America, Cuba. Etymology: (P. Kalm, student of Linnaeus, collector of eastern North America pls, 1716--1779)
eFlora Treatment Author: Kathleen A. Kron

Kalmia polifolia Wangenh.
Habit: Plant 1--7 dm, mat-forming. Stem: ascending, glabrous or sparsely hairy, young stems with 2 edges. Leaf: 4--60 mm, 3--25 mm wide, linear to ovate or oblong, abaxially pale green to white, finely canescent. Inflorescence: bracts deciduous. Flower: corolla 7--11 mm, pink to rose-purple. Fruit: 4--5(7) mm wide. Chromosomes: 2n=24,48.
Ecology: Peat bogs, moist meadows, rock crevices; Elevation: 1000--3500 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoRO, CaRH, SNH, Wrn; Distribution Outside California: northern North America. Flowering Time: Jun--Aug Note: 2 subspecies previously recognized evidently based on variation caused directly by altitude.
Synonyms: Kalmia microphylla (Hook.) A. Heller; Kalmia microphylla var. microphylla; Kalmia polifolia Wangenh. subsp. microphylla (Hook.) Calder & Roy L. Taylor; Kalmia polifolia Wangenh. subsp. polifolia
eFlora Treatment Author: Kathleen A. Kron
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botanical illustration including Kalmia polifolia


Citation for this treatment: Kathleen A. Kron 2016. Kalmia polifolia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 28, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 28, 2016.

Kalmia polifolia
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© 2010 George W. Hartwell
Kalmia polifolia var. microphylla
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© 2008 George W. Hartwell
Kalmia polifolia
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Kalmia polifolia
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© 2011 Steve Matson
Kalmia polifolia
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© 2010 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Kalmia polifolia
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© 2005 Aaron Schusteff

More photos of Kalmia polifolia in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Kalmia polifolia:
KR, NCoRO, CaRH, SNH, Wrn;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.