Kalmia cuneata

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Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
North Carolina Botanical Garden

The conservation of Kalmia cuneata is fully sponsored.


White wicky is endemic to the southeastern coastal plain, historically found in seven counties in North Carolina and three in South Carolina. Today, it is found at forty locations in all seven historically known counties North Carolina, but only one location in a single county in South Carolina. Although the range of this species is similar to its historical range, most of the currently known populations are confined to only a small part of the former range. (TNC 1998) This species is unique among members of the Kalmia genus, as well as the Ericaceae family, because its leaves are deciduous, not evergreen. Before falling off in the autumn, these deciduous leaves turn a brilliant shade of scarlet red. This species grows to a height of 3 or 4 feet and produces clusters of dainty white flowers with faint red marks inside them around the first of June.

Causes of this decline, and continual threats, include habitat loss due to coastal land development, conversion to agriculture or silviculture, and fire suppression. (USFWS 2002). Because of this, the species is considered rare by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and listed in Appendix II of CITES. The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) was set up by the IUCN to address the international trade in wildlife, which processes billions of dollars annually while causing massive declines in the numbers of many species of animals and plants. CITES is a voluntary agreement among countries, and signatory countries to CITES act by banning commercial international trade in an agreed list of endangered species and their products and by regulating and monitoring trade in others that might become endangered. Species that are on Appendix II, such as Kalmia cuneata, are considered to be threatened with extinction if international trade continues. This designation places no pre-determined limits on the commercial export of the species, but does require permission from the country of export. (USFWS 2002)

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research