Mountain laurel is a broadleaf evergreen native to the eastern United States. It gets part of its scientific name, Kalmia latifolia, from Pehr Kalm, a Finnish botanist who sent plant samples to Linnaeus in the mid-eighteenth century. The flowers are grouped in corymbs of a few dozen.
The ten stamens of each flower are pressed into the five conjoined petals, puckering them into a sort of decagonal bowl.
Mountain laurel is in the Heath family, along with rhododendron and azalea.