Rhododendron of the Month

 

Rhododendron macrophyllum G. Don

Rhododendron macrophyllum is the Washington State Flower. An evergreen shrub growing to eight meters (26 feet) tall. Its leaves are retained for one to two years, thick, glabrous, entire, oblong-elliptic up to 30 cm (12 inches) long, dark green above, paler below. The flowers are from eight up to thirty in a terminal cluster. Flowers white to pale rose to rose-purple, usually spotted green, red or brown.

Distributed in Canada in two or three small populations on Vancouver Island and just north of Ross Lake. In Washington along both sides of Hood Canal and in several isolated populations in the Cascade Mountains from sea level to 1280 meters (4200 Ft.). It forms the dominant under shrub in the Oregon Cascades from Mt. Hood to just north of Crater Lake Park and is found on the Oregon coast from Seaside to the California Border. In California it is found along the coast and in the Redwood forests south to just north of San Francisco and in several isolated populations in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

R. macrophyllum survives dry summer conditions. It is also a pioneer plant that seeds heavily in clear-cuts, road sides and burned over areas.

Description and Images from Hank Helm
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