any North American evergreen shrub belonging to the genus Kalmia, of the heath family, having showy flowers, as the mountain laurel.

Origin of kalmia

< New Latin (Linnaeus), after Peter Kalm (1715–79), Swedish botanist; see -ia
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Examples from the Web for kalmia

Historical Examples of kalmia

  • He replied, 'Madam, the kalmia has precisely the colours of a seraph's wing.'

  • Rhododendrons have strong and scaly winter-buds; while in Kalmia they are naked.

  • The kalmia and the alder gave undergrowth and brilliancy to the foliage.

    The Entailed Hat

    George Alfred Townsend

  • I put off the examination of the kalmia latifolia till the day after.

  • Kalmia, the beautiful mountain laurel, immortalizes the name of the devoted explorer who discovered it.

    Trees Worth Knowing

    Julia Ellen Rogers

British Dictionary definitions for kalmia



any evergreen ericaceous shrub of the North American genus Kalmia, having showy clusters of white or pink flowersSee also mountain laurel

Word Origin for kalmia

C18: named after Peter Kalm (1715–79), Swedish botanist and pupil of Linnaeus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012