PlantsRhododendrons→Rosebay Rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum)

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Very strongly acid (4.5 – 5.0)
Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4b -31.7 °C (-25 °F) to -28.9 °C (-20 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 7b
Plant Height: 3-40 ft, usually 15 to 20 feet
Plant Spread: to 25 ft
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Other: Pod with 300-400 seeds
Fruiting Time: Fall
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Pink
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Summer
Uses: Cut Flower
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Seeds: Provide light
Depth to plant seed: Sow on surface of soil.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Tip
Other: Tissue Culture
Pollinators: Bees
Miscellaneous: Monoecious


The Top Azaleas and RhododendronsThe Top Azaleas and Rhododendrons
By dave on April 11, 2015

It's Rhododendrons Celebration Week! Let's open it up with a look at the top species and cultivars from among this collection of vibrant and beautiful plants.

(Full articleno comments)
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Posted by mellielong (Lutz, Florida - Zone 9b) on Apr 10, 2015 6:06 PM

According to "How to Know the Wildflowers" (1922) by Mrs. William Starr Dana, in parts of the country where this plant thrives, it can form veritable Rhododendron jungles, termed "hells" by the mountaineers. The branches reach out and interlace with each other making the area nearly impassable.

Apparently, little attention had been paid to the plant until the Centennial Celebration was held in Philadelphia. Exhibits of the plant attracted thousands of admirers. The plant has also been carefully cultivated in English gardens, as well.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jan 21, 2018 8:25 PM

I normally call this the Rosebay Rhododendron and some in southeast Pennsylvania call it the "native rhododendron." It grows in moist upland woods, on cool mountain slopes, shady sites along watercourses, and in northern swamps from southern Maine and New England into New York down the Appalachian Region into northern Georgia. It grows about 1 to 1.5 feet/year and lives about 150 years. It has large, long, relatively narrow leaves to about 8 inches long. Its bell-shaped flowers range from white to rose-pink to lavender with some yellow spots on the inside. It has a shallow, fibrous root system and transplants readily. Some are sold by many nurseries in its native range region of the eastern US, though it is not as popular as more colorful species of Rhododendrons as the Catawba. It does not always adapt to landscapes well. It does need a shady, sheltered location with good quality acid soil. There are some cultivars with flowers that are pure white or pink or purple.

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Posted by robertduval14 (Mason, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Apr 15, 2013 9:33 PM

West Virginia's state flower

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Dec 16, 2013 4:49 AM

The word maximum refers to the large size of these plants. A mature specimen is generally 15 feet tall but may become tree-like reaching up to 40 feet. The plant habit is spreading. It is widerr than tall.

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Plant Events from our members
SkirtGardener On June 23, 2017 Obtained plant
a rooted cutting
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Discussion Threads about this plant
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Does anyone know what tree this is please? by DanEP Apr 6, 2021 12:41 PM 9
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Video tutorial on how to use the group seed swap by dave Nov 1, 2016 7:31 PM 9

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