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This, the ‘hairy kalmia’, is an evergreen shrub 1 to 2 ft high, with very bristly slender young shoots. Leaves alternate, very shortly stalked, oval or oblong, pointed, tapered at the base, 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long, 1⁄12 to 1⁄4 in. wide, bright green, bristly like the young shoots. Flowers solitary in the leaf-axils, 1⁄2 in. wide, each borne on a slender bristly stalk; corolla pink, flattish, saucer-shaped; sepals linear-lanceolate, pointed, 1⁄4 in. long, bristly, persisting after the corolla has fallen. Bot. Mag., t. 138.
Native of the S.E. United States from Virginia to Florida, where it flowers in June; introduced from Carolina in 1790 by Watson, ‘nurseryman of Islington’. It was figured during the following year in the Botanical Magazine, but has never secured a firm footing in English gardens, being too tender for all but our mildest counties. It is very distinct in its bristliness, and in habit and size of leaf rather resembles Daboecia cantabrica. I have not seen it in flower, but pictures show that it has considerable beauty. The corolla has the typical flat, round shape, and it has, like the other species, little pockets towards which the stamens are bent back and in which the anthers are retained. It would be interesting to try this species again in some of the warm south coast gardens.