When does this bloom?
Where does this bloom?
162.9, 169 Picnic Area, 232-233, 339.3 PA, 352-353, 455-456
White Rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum, also called Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rose Bay, American Rhododendron, or Big Rhododendron) is an evergreen shrub growing to 4 m (13 ft), rarely 10 m (33 ft), tall. The leaves are 10-16 cm (4-6 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.
Rosebay rhododendron is a striking and aesthetically pleasing feature of mesic southern Appalachian forests. It is one of the largest and hardiest rhododendrons grown commercially. Several cultivars with white to purple flowers have been selected for the horticultural trade (Brown and Kirkman 1990). Where it occurs naturally, it produces a showy, white, pink, or light purple flower primarily in June, but occurs from March into August.
Rosebay rhododendron maintains deep-green foliage year round. This species affords protection to steep watersheds and shelter for wildlife. The wood is very hard and is occasionally used for specialty wood products.