Appalachian Vocabulary Test 100
Funny Rabbits

Mountain Ivy = Mountain Laurel = Rhododendron

Mountain ivy in western north carolina

ivy noun
(also ivy bush, ivy tree) The mountain laurel tree (Kalmia latifolia). Same as calico bush, mountain ivy.
1883 Zeigler and Grosscup Heart of Alleghanies 196 The arborescent kalmia and rhododendron, which grow along almost every mountain stream, have a practical use. The ivy and laurel, as they are locally called attain, in some of the fertile coves, a diameter of three inches, and the roots are even larger. 1928 Galyon Plant Naturalist 7 Mountain laurel, known to the mountaineer as "ivy," reaches its maximum development in the Smokies. It is not unusual to find arborescent laurels one foot or more in diameter and many feet high. 1982 Stupka Wildflowers 80 Usually the attractive pink or white-saucered flowers are so abundant that the mountain laurel in full bloom is one of our most spectacular plants. It flowers in May and June, the later blossoms ordinarily occurring on plants growing in the higher altitudes. "Ivy" and "calico-bush" are among its other names. 1997-2001 Montgomery Coll. ivy bush (Cardwell); ivy tree (Brown).

laurel noun Cf rhododendron. 
A variant form larel.
1939 Hall Notebook 13:1 White Oak NC larel (Fay Leatherwood)
B (also laurel bush) The mountain term for evergreen rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum and Rhododendron catawbiense), which grows profusely at elevations below 5,000 feet and covers extensive tracts in thicket. Also used in compounds (as flat laurel, laurel bed, laurel patch, laurel slick, laurel thicket, mountain laurel) and in place names.
1890 Carpenter Thunderhead Peak 142-43 There for the first time we saw the tangle of rhododendron which is called "laurel," and forms a dense thicket along all the mountain streams. 1937 Hall Coll. Cosby Creek TN We have white laurels and red laurels here in the mountains. (James Benson) 1939 Hall Coll. Deep Creek NC They fought right down to the foot of the ridge into the flat laurel and commenced barkin'. I though [the bear] was treed. (Mark Cathey) 1974 Underwood Madison County 9 Roderick Shelton and his descendants peopled the area now known as Shelton Laurel. 

~Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English

Ivy blooms in the mountains

I have one more quote for you.

Dykeman The Tall Woman Pg 304 I've always thought the ivy was about the prettiest thing growing here, the way it clings to the mountains, the way it comes in the cutover places and covers up the scars with blooms in spring. 

As I look at the ridge above our house I so agree - the Ivy is about the prettiest thing growing here.


p.s. The Pressley Girls will be playing Saturday May 20, 2017 @ 2:00 p.m  at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center - Robbinsville NC and Sunday May 21, 2017 @ 11:00 a.m. at Mount Moriah Baptist Church - Murphy NC. Their summer is schedule is filling up-to see a complete list of performance dates go here

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In Oregon, where both forests and city gardens and parks are full of those gorgeous flowers,
they simply call them "Rhodies."

"Ivy hells," those densely entangled mountainside expanses of pure mountain laurel, were once called "Ivy slicks" in the Virginia mountains.
An exuberant nighttime mountain 'coon hunter may have stumbled over a rock outcropping and fallen into an ivy tangle, finding himself, scraped and scratched, humiliatingly entrapped in the twisted branches of mountain laurel. Unable to extricate himself, he might have cried out, "Over h'yar! I'm over h'yar! Hurry, boys! I'm bodaciously ruin't!"

♫ Go tell Aunt Ivy,
Go tell Aunt Ivy,
Go tell Aunt Ivy,
The old gray duck is dead! ♪

There is an Ivy Hill Township in Haywood County out torge Maggie Valley and Soco. Maybe the guvment over there ought to look into why it was named that. If it was named for the bush (shrub), they ought to consider changing it to Laurel Hill don't you think? Or would it be Rhododendron Hill. I mean they ought to try to keep up with the all changes in this old world.

Yes! Torge is a word often used in my little patch of Appalachia. It's about the same thing as toward but you don't have to make your mouth look funny to say it.

I got lost in a laurel thicket one time. Or was it? I sure thought it was laurel anyways. Maybe it was a rhododendron thicket. Or maybe an ivy thicket! But now ivy has turned into a vine. But that was before that when I thought I got lost. It's got me totally confused. Maybe I wasn't lost after all or maybe it wasn't even me!

Today is my brother John's birthday. He was a Preacher and pastered the First Baptist Church in Savannah, Ga. Me and Harold was at his Funeral, he died at 53. Some of the best food I ever had, those Southern Ladies sure knew how to cook, and the Church paid for everything. They loved John!

Those Rhododendron make it look beautiful in my Mountain Holler too. I just call 'em all Laurels. ...Ken

If you have not been your followers should consider coming to East Tn this June for the rhododendron festival, beautiful view on top of Roan Mountain and lots to see and do when you enter the park.

Well, I can sure say that Mountain Laurel do not equal Rhododendron! I have both in my back yard, and regardless of what they are called, they are very different. The coolest thing about both plants is their flower and the fact that they are evergreen plants, giving us on our mountain a rich green color throughout the winter.

The Rhododendron leaves roll up around their major axis as if to retain heat. The colder it gets, the tighter the tube that they form. Then as the sun comes out, they uncurl as if to maximize the surface area that they expose to the sun.

Do you know of a "mountain name" for the azaleas that grow on Gregory Bald, Andrews Bald, etc.?

They were discovered in 1791 by the botanist (who's name I can't remember) and a genus of Rhododendron which the Catawbiense Rhododendron belongs. Some of the names of wild azaleas escape me, but one I remember is Flame azalea with varied shades....(beautiful and so shocking to the eye in person) and another Pinkster varying shades of pink and common here on my hill and mountains,
Laurel (Ivy) of course is the genus of Kalmia
Great post today....just wondering about the wild mountain azaleas....have you ever hiked any of these areas....Only one for me when I was a kid....

I was wrong. The national champion mountain laurel is on the Sumter National Forest in northwestern South Carolina.

Every now and then one sees a laurel (ivy) that has grown straight and spread a uniform crown like a miniature tree. They are rare but very pretty.

The largest ivy I ever saw, in diameter anyway, were two near Lake Conasauga in the Cohutta Mts. of northwest GA. Each were over 5" in diameter at 4.5' above the ground. I think I am right that the national champ is in the botanical garden at Asheville.

Ralph Hooper, forestry tech at Bent Creek Experimental Forest near Asheville, discovered many years ago that ivy will die if kept in continuous shade.

A local name in northeast GA for Piedmont (or Carolina) rhododendron is "red-stemmed ivy". On casual aquaintance it looks much like ivy.

It looks so pretty. I have never seen ivy in bloom but thought it was much bigger and grew on a short plant. Thanks for sharing the information.

Tipper--As any fly fisherman will tell you, once a wayward cast lands in ivy or laurel you might as well wade to the offending bush, because it ain't going to give it back. You'll break your tippet every time if you try to jerk it loose. Also, although you might have to do a lot of searching to get just the right configuration, forks of both make a mighty fine slingshot platform.

Jim Casada

I don't agree. The prettiest thing growing there is the love you have and share with others!

"Calico Bush" - now that's a beautiful and very apt name! I can imagine the hillsides with scraps of calico scattered over them!

It is beautiful

It is, indeed, one of the prettiest things on the mountain, no matter what you call it!

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