Past Winners

By Type

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Little Leaf Laurels
Kalmia latifolia v. myrtifolia
—‘Elf’, ‘Minuet’, ‘Tiddlywinks’, ‘Tinkerbell’ and ‘Little Linda’

Our native Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is one of New England’s finest shrubs bearing shining leaves year round, and clusters of pale pink cup-like flowers in late May and early June. Selections and cultivars of this native beauty are becoming more available, lending a greater range of flower color, leaf size and plant habit to our palette. Introduced by Dick Jaynes of Connecticut.
The varieties—named ‘Elf’, ‘Minuet’, ‘Tiddlywinks’, ‘Tinkerbell’, and ‘Little Linda’—seem to twinkle when the blossoms emerge from their candy-like buds in May. They are compact, slow-growing evergreen plants, reaching a height of 3-4’ in 10 years.

Like our wild Mountain Laurels, these cultivars will thrive in full sun to partial shade. In sunny situations it is best to locate them where they are sheltered from drying winds and winter sun. They prefer well-drained, but not excessively dry, acid soils and benefit greatly from an organic mulch to moderate soil temperatures and moisture. Given the right conditions Mountain Laurels are hardy in USDA Zones 4-9.