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Kalmia buxifolia

Kalmia buxifolia is a species of flowering plant in the heath family known by the common name sandmyrtle, or sand-myrtle. It is native to the eastern United States, where it has a disjunct distribution, occurring in three separate areas. It is known from the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, the Coastal Plain of the Carolinas, and the southeastern Blue Ridge Mountains.[1]

This species is sometimes called Leiophyllum buxifolium, the only member of the monotypic genus Leiophyllum.[2] Genetic analysis supports its inclusion in genus Kalmia.[3]

This species is quite variable in appearance.[2] It is a shrub growing 10 centimeters to one meter in height. The leaves may be alternately or oppositely arranged on the stems. They are oval to lance-shaped and up to 1.4 centimeters long. The inflorescence is a raceme or umbel of up to 18 flowers with white or light pink petals. The fruit is a capsule a few millimeters long.[4]

This species grows in a variety of habitat types in its fragmented range, including sandy plains in the Carolinas and rocky mountain woods.[1]


  1. ^ a b Leiophyllum buxifolium. Center for Plant Conservation.
  2. ^ a b Strand, A. E. and R. Wyatt. (1991). Geographical variation and biosystematics of sand myrtle, Leiophyllum buxifolium (Ericaceae). Systematic Botany 16(3) 529-45.
  3. ^ Kron, K. A. and J. M. King. (1996). Cladistic relationships of Kalmia, Leiophyllum, and Loiseleuria (Phyllodoceae, Ericaceae) based on rbcL and nrITS data. Systematic Botany 21(1) 17-29.
  4. ^ Kalmia buxifolia. Flora of North America.


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