The flower is the mountain laurel. Penn State has said while the mountain laurel is considered common, it is a fascinating flower. In the 1930s Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot had two flowers to choose from from the General Assembly: Mountain laurel or the Pink azalea. Pinchot chose the laurel and signed the bill to make it the state flower on May 5, 1933.
The flower has been cultivated as a flowering ornamental since the early 18th century in England. English breeders then shipped it back across the Atlantic so it could be sold as a potted plant in America.
These flowers can grow in the woods and grow in thick thickets. Foresters in Pennsylvania have hated these thickets cursing them, calling them ankle breakers and ankle breakers
The flowers are very unique and very pretty. The fused petals of mountain laurel’s florets are shaped like inverted parasols. They range from near white to a blush of pink. The flowers tend to bloom late into May and even into June, and can grow to between four and ten feet.
During the 1920s, Penn State notes that an estimated 20 million pounds of laurel foliage were picked annually throughout its range. The flower has been mostly used for decorations, especially holiday wreaths, boughs, and floral arrangements.
The flower can be seen in most of the State’s wooded hillsides. In the garden, Mountain laurel
requires cool, moist, well-drained soil.