Kalmia carolina Small. Phen: Apr-May (sporadically to Sep, especially in response to fire); Sep-Oct. Hab: Moist to wet pinelands of the Coastal Plain, pocosin margins (or seemingly in pocosins or swamps because of fire suppression), mountain bogs and fens (and less commonly in rocky areas at high elevations) in the Mountains. Dist: This species, a close relative of the more widespread and northern K. angustifolia, occurs in two disjunct areas: the Coastal Plain, from se. VA south through NC to wc. GA (Taylor County), and the Southern Appalachians from sw. VA south through w. NC and ne. TN to ne. GA
Origin/Endemic status: Endemic
Taxonomy Comments: Southall & Hardin (1974) favored species status for K. carolina because of its essentially allopatric distribution relative to K. angustifolia (the 2 meet in Southampton County, VA), the near absence of intermediates or hybrids in nature, and because "significant morphological and anatomical differences have developed and remain constant between these two species when grown together". The ploidy difference would also prevent them from producing fertile hybrids.
Synonymy: = GW2, K1, K3, K4, S, Va, W, Southall & Hardin (1974); = Kalmia angustifolia L. ssp. carolina (Small) A.Haines – Haines (2010); = Kalmia angustifolia L. var. carolina (Small) Fernald – C, F, FNA8, G, Ebinger (1974), Luteyn et al (1996); = Kalmia angustifolia L. var. caroliniana (Small) Fernald – RAB, Tn, orthographic error