Mountain Laurel. Also called ivybush, calico bush, sheep laurel, lambkill, clamoun, and spoonwood (native Americans used to make spoons from the wood). It’s a pretty, native American shrub and our often overlooked and under-appreciated state flower. Mountain Laurel is a tough, hearty grower that can take a lot of abuse; from grazing deer to late spring cold snaps. The bush in this photo was nearly dead a few years ago. I trimmed it back, opened the canopy above, and in one season it bounced back and started producing beautiful clusters of blooms. The shrub is prone to rust, but that seldom kills it. As long as there is some air circulation they will usually survive, even in the worst growing conditions. I often find large groves of Mountain Laurel blooming deep in the state forest. It always makes me wonder if someone planted them once upon a time or if they just came up on their own?