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A showy shrub native to eastern North America, mountain laurel is closely related to azaleas and rhododendrons. It grows in a large, rounded mound and has dark green foliage that remains on the plant all year. In late spring, it bears clusters of flowers in white, pink, and red.
Like most rhododendrons and azaleas, mountain laurel needs soil with an acidic pH. It prefers ground that's moist, well-drained, and high in organic matter, so amend average soil with compost or peat moss before planting. Mountain laurel tolerates full sun in moist soil, though it does better in partial shade if the soil tends to get dry.
All parts of mountain laurels are poisonous.