- eastern North America
- zone 4
Habit and Form
- multi-stemmed, evergreen, large shrub
- typically 8' to 15' tall, but can reach to 30' in Appalachian Mountains
- branching habit is upright and spreading to irregular
- texture is coarse and it is somewhat loose and open
- leaves are evergreen, broadest above the middle
- leaves are thick, leathery and dark green
- 4" to 8" long, somewhat strap-like
- underside of leaves is either green or a light rusty color
- upperside is dark green
- no fall color
- blooms later than most large-leaved rhododendrons in late June
- flowers are rose-pink, pink margined, or nearly white
- newly emerging shoot sometimes partially obscure the flowers
- individual flowers are 1.5" across and are borne in crowned clusters of up to 25 flowers
- flower buds are distictly larger than vegetative buds.
- flower bud are surrounded at the base with leaf-like bracts
- dehiscent capsule
- not ornamentally attractive
- color is brown, with light ridges and furrows
- trunks often picturesque in the way they are contorted and twisted
- partial shade; tolerates relatively dense shade
- moist, cool, acidic, well-drained, organic soil
- avoid windswept, exposed or hot locations
- remove flower clusters following bloom to stimulate new growth and flower bud set
- transplant from containers or B&B.
- shrub border
- shady locations
- naturalistic areas
- edge of woods
- as a screen
- phytophthora root rot
- winterburn in exposed sites
- chlorosis on high pH soils
- leaves roll up in temperatures below 25o F to conserve moisture and unfurl when warm temperatures return
- flowers partially hidden by new shoots
- long evergreen, strap-like leaves
- large flower buds surround by leaf-like bracts at the base
- large size for a rhododendron
- late blooming rhododendron (late June)
- by seed
- by fall or winter stem cuttings
var. album - The flowers of this form are white or nearly so.var. purpureum - Plants of this type have flowers colored deep pink to purple with green spotting.
var. roseum (also known as 'Roseum') - The emerging buds of this variety appear reddish and open to reveal pink flowers. It is a vigorous grower (to 12' tall) that offers reddish stems and dark green foliage.
'Leachii' (also known as var. leachii) - This form features leaves that are smaller than typical with deeply wavy margins. The plant is more compact than the species with pinkish-white blooms.
'Midsummer' - This cultivar bears pink blooms with a slightly gold throat. The healthy foliage is deep green and the habit is more open than the species.
'Pride's Pink' - A hardy plant with an upright-spreading habit, this cultivar has large pink blooms.