E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Kalmia microphylla subsp. occidentalis (Hook.) A. Heller (Small) Roy L. Taylor & MacBryde
western bog-laurel
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Dave Ingram  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #2679)

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Distribution of Kalmia microphylla subsp. occidentalis
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Species Information

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Low shrub; stems 10-50 cm tall, much branched; young stems finely hairy but soon becoming glabrous.
Evergreen, opposite, leathery, oblong-lanceolate to narrowly oblong, (0.6) 0.8-4 cm long, (2) 3-11 mm wide, entire, margins often rolled under, shiny, dark green and glabrous above, greyish and very finely and densely short glandular-hairy beneath, often with a prominent midrib; stalks 2-5 mm long.
In terminal 1- to 12-flowered clusters; flower stalks 1-4 cm long, usually glabrous; corollas deep pinkish-rose, saucer-shaped, 1-2 cm wide; calyces deeply 5-lobed, lobes egg-shaped, 2-3 mm long, glabrous or occasionally sparsely and minutely fringed; stamens 10, held in sacs on petals until full bloom, densely hairy just above the base, otherwise glabrous.
Five-valved capsules, nearly globe-shaped, glabrous, about 4 mm wide and 5 mm long.
Two subspecies are recognized in BC:

1. Leaves oval to broadly elliptic, usually less than 2 cm long, and less than 2 times as long as wide; calyces less than 7 mm wide; plants occurring E of the Coast-Cascades Range in BC and usually at high elevations..............ssp. microphylla

1. Leaves lance-shaped, usually 2.5 cm long or longer, and 2.5-4 times as long as wide; calyces more than 7 mm wide; plants of coastal BC and intermittently inland, usuallyat low to moderate elevations..................ssp. occidentalis (Small) Taylor & MacBryde

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Peat bogs, wet peaty forests and meadows from the lowland through alpine zones; frequent throughout BC; N to AK, YT and NT, E to NW MB, and S to C CA, NV, UT, and CO.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Kalmia microphylla ssp. occidentalis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 10 626 1804
Slope Gradient (%) 0 7 30
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
203 321 350
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 6 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CWH(6), ESSF(3), ICH(1), MH(2), SBS(2)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References