General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
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
White
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
Layering
Other: Tissue Culture
Pollinators: Bees
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

Image
Common names
  • Rosebay Rhododendron
  • Great Laurel
  • Wild Rhododendron
  • White Laurel
  • Rhododendron

Photo Gallery
Location: Sylva, NC
Date: 07/03/2020
Location: Sylva, NC
Date: 07/03/2020
Location: Lake James, NC
Date: 2020-07-12
I love the pink tinge to the petals!
Location: Lake James, NC
Date: 2020-07-12
This was growing on the bank of Lake James.
Location: near West Chester, Pennsylvania
Date: 2013-07-05
flowers
Location:  taken near Cherokee, North Carolina
Date: April
credit: Arx Fortis
Location: Lake James, NC
Date: 2020-07-12
Big beautiful groups of flowers!
Location: Tennessee
Date: 2006-06-17
Steven J. Baskauf http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/
Location: Southeast Tennessee
Date: 2012-05-18
Location: at Winterthur Gardens in northern Delaware
Date: 2014-07-06
mass of shrubs
Location: Tyler Arboretum in southeast PA near Media
Date: 2011-12-18
shrub mass
Location: at Winterthur Gardens in northern Delaware
Date: 2011-08-12
shrub group along walkway

Date: c.1865
illustration by Bessa from Michaux's 'The North American Sylva',
Location: Tennessee
Date: 2006-02-26
Steven J. Baskauf http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/
Location: Tennessee
Date: 2006-06-17
Steven J. Baskauf http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/
Location: Tennessee
Date: 2006-06-17
Steven J. Baskauf http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/
Location: Tyler Arboretum in southeast PA near Media
Date: 2010-03-16
group of shrubs
Location: near Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Date: 2016-09-21
wild shrubs near creek
Location: near Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Date: 2016-09-21
wild shrubs in northern PA
Location: Ridley Creek State Park, PA
Photo by Derek Ramsey, Wikipedia

Photo by user SB_Johnny, Wikipedia
Location: Tennessee
Date: 2006-06-17
Steven J. Baskauf http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/
Location: Tennessee
Date: 2006-06-17
Steven J. Baskauf http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/
Comments:
  • Posted by mellielong (Lutz, Florida - Zone 9b) on Apr 10, 2015 6:06 PM concerning plant:
    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.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jan 21, 2018 8:25 PM concerning plant:
    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.
  • Posted by robertduval14 (Milford, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Apr 15, 2013 9:33 PM concerning plant:
    West Virginia's state flower
  • Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Dec 16, 2013 4:49 AM concerning plant:
    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.
Plant Events from our members
SkirtGardener On June 23, 2017 Obtained plant
a rooted cutting
» Post your own event for this plant

« Add a new plant to the database

» Search the Rhododendrons Database: by characteristics or by cultivar name

« See the general plant entry for Rhododendrons (Rhododendron)

« The Rhododendrons Database Front Page

« The Plants Database Front Page

Today's site banner is by RootedInDirt and is called "Tulips"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.