The broadleaf evergreen mountain-laurel is usually a 12-20 ft. shrub, but is occasionally taller and single-trunked, attaining small tree stature. Evergreen, many-stemmed, thicket-forming shrub or sometimes a small tree with short, crooked trunk; stout, spreading branches; a compact, rounded crown; and beautiful, large, pink flower clusters. Its flowers are very showy. They are bell-shaped, white to pink with deep rose spots inside, and occur in flat-topped clusters. The leaves are oval, leathery, and glossy, and change from light-green to dark-green to purple throughout the year.
Mountain Laurel is one of the most beautiful native flowering shrubs and is well displayed as an ornamental in many parks. The stamens of the flowers have an odd, springlike mechanism which spreads pollen when tripped by a bee. The wood has been used for tool handles and turnery, and the burls, or hard knotlike growths, for briar tobacco pipes.
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Leafspot-resistant and, once established, very tolerant of dry soils and periods of drought.
Among the most beautiful Mountain Laurels of all, 'Carol' begins the season with pink buds so dark they appear red. These burst into bubblegum-pink blooms that quickly mature to nearly white, offering great contrast with the buds still unopened. A free-flowering, very compact selection with good resistance to leafspot, 'Carol' is a standout in your garden!
Expect this multi-stemmed evergreen shrub to reach just 3½ to 5 feet high and wide, covering itself with glossy, slightly twisty foliage. The leaves remain right through winter, making 'Carol' a good choice for the foundation, hedge, or other area where winter interest is paramount.The flowering begins in late spring in most climates and can continue into early summer, an absolute explosion of color that is truly breathtaking. Mountain Laurel is a native shrub, and really knows how to put on a show! Dense, compact, and low-growing, 'Carol' offers much more color in a concentrated space than most other Mountain Laurels, and it will be one of the talking points of your landscape every year. There's simply nothing as splendid to match it!Quite tolerant of drought and dry soil once established, 'Carol' also demonstrates good resistance to leafspot. Like all Mountain Laurels, it needs good soil drainage and prefers protection from strong winds. Shear it all you like, or not at all if that is your preference -- 'Carol' won't mind! Very easy to grow, it's a beloved favorite in many a fine garden. Give it full sun in the north, dappled shade farther south, and enjoy its exceptional beauty for many seasons to come. Zones 4-9.
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