Mountain Laurel at Hawk Mountain: The Showy Shrub Performs Its Annual Show
Mountain Laurel: The Showy Shrub Performs Its Annual Show
Now is the time to visit Hawk Mountain and other wooded areas to view one of nature’s most spectacular displays, the annual blooming of Mountain Laurel. Wooded locations and rocky hilltops like Hawk Mountain Sanctuary are excellent places to enjoy Pennsylvania’s showy state flower.
Although Mountain Laurel leaves remain dark-green year round, the only time to see the flowers in Pennsylvania is from late May to mid June, and peak blossoms typically occur closer to Father’s Day. The abundant flowers are considered among the most beautiful of all shrubs, with clusters of small, star-like blossoms. Other varieties may have deeper pink or even reddish flowers, and the buds are framed and emphasized by the shrub’s glossy, lance-shaped leaves.
“Right now, the Mountain Laurel along Hawk Mountain Road and all along the trails are filled with partially opened buds, some that already are in full bloom. It looks like it will be a big show this year,” says Mary Linkevich, the communications director at the Sanctuary.
Locations like Hawk Mountain are loaded with Mountain Laurel shrubs which can grow to over 12 feet. The shrub is particularly abundant in rocky and mountainous forest regions, making Hawk Mountain trails an ideal location to enjoy the flowers.
Mountain Laurel is also an excellent plant for cultivation. Besides its obvious beauty the plant is generally left alone by insects and wildlife, a last-resort as food due to its poisonous leaves and flowers. A native shrub, the Mountain Laurel is vigorous and dense and makes a wonderful addition to any landscape.
Open year-round, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is the world’s first refuge for birds of prey and an international center for raptor conservation. Its eight miles of trails and half a dozen scenic overlooks are open to the public for a modest trail fee. An average of 18,000 hawks, eagles and falcons are recorded each autumn as they migrate past Hawk Mountain.
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Director of Communication & Grants
gro.niatnuomkwahnull@hciveknil, 610-756-6000 x211
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association
1700 Hawk Mountain Road, Kempton, Pa 19529