General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 8-20 ft.
Plant Spread: 8-10 ft.
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Other: 1/2 to 1 inch long dry capsules, each containing numerous small seeds
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Showy
Blooms on old wood
Flower Color: Green
Other: Green spots on upper part of throat
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
Cut Flower
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Toxicity: Other: All parts - Andromedotoxin. Symptoms - Salivation, watering of eyes and nose, abdominal pain, loss of energy, depression, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, difficult breathing, progressive paralysis of arms and legs, coma
Propagation: Seeds: Provide light
Other info: Needs no stratification.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Tip
Other: Tissue Culture
Pollinators: Bumblebees

Common names
  • Catawba Rhododendron
  • Catawba Rosebay
  • Rhododendron
  • Mountain Rosebay
  • Purple Rhododendron
  • Red Laurel

Photo Gallery
Location: Gatlinburg, TN
Date: 2017-04-29
Location: Moscow
Date: May
credit: Andrey Korzun
Location: Cades Cove, Smoky Mountains National Park
Date: 2017-04-25

Photo by Jason Edgecombe, Wikipedia
Location: Cades Cove, Smoky Mountains National Park
Date: 2017-04-25
Location: Gatlinburg, TN
Date: 2017-04-29
  • Posted by Catmint20906 (PNW WA half hour south of Olympia - Zone 8a) on Aug 1, 2014 7:03 PM concerning plant:
    According to the NPIN, Rhododendron catawbiense has special value for bumble bees.
  • Posted by Cyclaminist (Minneapolis, Minnesota - Zone 5a) on May 3, 2016 12:06 PM concerning plant:
    This species was hybridized with less hardy rhododendrons to yield hardy cultivars.
Plant Events from our members
SuperHappyCamper On February 28, 2024 Obtained plant
Purchased from HD.
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