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Rosebay Rhododendron

Rhododendron maximum

Description:

R. maximum is an evergreen shrub growing to 4 m (13 ft), rarely 10 m (33 ft), tall. The leaves are 9–19 cm (3–8 in) long and 2–4 cm (0.75-1.5 in) broad. The flowers are 2.5–3 cm (1 in) diameter, white, pink or pale purple, often with small greenish-yellow spots. The fruit is a dry capsule 15–20 mm (.60-.79 in) long, containing numerous small seeds. The leaves can be poisonous. Leaves are sclerophyllous, simple, alternate, and oblong (10 to 30 cm long, 5 to 8 cm wide). It retains its waxy, deep-green leaves for up to 8 years, but once shed are slow to decompose. It produces large, showy, white to purple flowers each June.

Habitat:

Rosebay rhododendron is the most frequently occurring and dominant species of Rhododendron in the southern Appalachian region, and occurs occasionally on mesic hill-slopes throughout the upper Piedmont Crescent of the Southeastern United States. This one was photographed along the trail to Twin Falls in Pickens County, SC.

Notes:

Its common names include great rhododendron, great laurel, rosebay rhododendron, American rhododendron and big rhododendron. The wood is very hard and is occasionally used for specialty wood products.

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KenCheeks
Spotted by
KenCheeks

South Carolina, USA

Spotted on Jul 19, 2013
Submitted on Feb 8, 2015

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