Rhododendron of the Month

 

Rhododendron edgeworthii

Rhododendron edgeworthii was first discovered and collected by J. D. Hooker in Sikkim in 1849 and introduced by him in 1851. Subsequently this species has been found in Nepal, Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan, Assam, Burma, Yunnan and Sichuan.

It grows as an epiphyte and can also be found growing terrestrially on moss-covered boulders and open, rocky slopes. It is generally found terrestrially as individuals and rarely as populations.

The plants grown from seed collected at lower elevations and latitudes are generally considered greenhouse plants here in the Pacific Northwest. Plants grown from seed collected at higher elevations or more northerly latitudes are occasionally hardy in our milder areas.

This rhododendron is very distinctive in its characteristics and unlikely to be confused with any other in the genus. Its oblong to oblong-lanceolate leaves are bullate on the upper surface and densely scaly and completely covered with a thin golden-haired indumentum on the under surface. Growth habit is quite variable with plants ranging from 1' to 12' in height at maturity. Flowers are funnel-campanulate, white sometimes with a rose flush and generally very fragrant. In our limited experience with this species the more tender forms seem to have a greater fragrance than the hardier forms.

This species rhododendron demands sharp drainage and will soon let you know if it is not happy in its location. If you wish your plant to grow into a dense compact form you must plant it in an open exposed site.

R_edgeworthii truss.
R_edgeworthii leaves.
Images from the files of
The Rhododendron Species Foundation
An excerpt from
"Watts with the Species"
by Lynn Watts
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