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(rō'dədĕn`drən) [Gr.,=rose tree], any plant of the genus Rhododendron, shrubs of the family Ericaceae (heathheath,
in botany, common name for some members of the Ericaceae, a family of chiefly evergreen shrubs with berry or capsule fruits. Plants of the heath family form the characteristic vegetation of many regions with acid soils, particularly the moors, swamps, and mountain slopes
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 family) found chiefly in mountainous areas of the arctic and north temperate regions and also of the mountainous tropics. Encompassing more than 1,000 species, they are particularly abundant in Asia, whence many of the popular cultivated species and hybrids derive. They commonly have large, shining, leathery, evergreen, semievergreen, or deciduous leaves and clusters of large pink, white, or purplish flowers. Native American species include the great laurel, or rose bay (R. maximum), the common eastern species and the state flower of West Virginia; the mountain rose bay (R. catawbiense) of the southern mountains; and the western rhododendron (R. californicum), the state flower of Washington. The azaleaazalea
[Gr.,=dry], any species of the genus Rhododendron, North American and Asian shrubs of the family Ericaceae (heath family) that are distinguished by the usually deciduous leaves.
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 and the rhodora are names used for similar shrubs of the same genus with more typically deciduous leaves. Rhododendrons are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Ericales, family Ericaceae.


See F. P. Lee, The Azalea Book (1965); C. L. Phillips, The Rothschild Rhododendrons (1967); J. Brown, Tales of the Rose Tree (2006).



a genus of plants of the family Ericaceae. The plants are small trees or evergreen or deciduous shrubs. The leaves are alternate, entire, and often leathery. The bisexual, five-parted flowers, which have a large, slightly irregular corolla, are gathered into corymbiform or umbellate inflorescences. Less commonly the flowers are solitary. The fruit is a capsule, with numerous small seeds.

There are more than 600 species (according to other data, as many as 1,300), distributed mainly in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere (predominantly in North America and the mountains of East Asia). The USSR has 20 species, found in the Far East, Siberia, and the Caucasus. R. dahuricum, a branched shrub measuring 0.5-2 m tall, has deciduous leaves and large (2-3 cm) solitary lilac-pink flowers. The species grows in the Far East and Eastern Siberia. R. kamtschaticum is a low deciduous shrub reaching a height of 35 cm and having purple or red flowers that measure up to 4 cm across. The plant grows in Northern Siberia, Kamchatka, Sakhalin, and the Kuril Islands. R. caucasicum, an evergreen shrub reaching a height of 1-1.5 m, has white or cream-colored flowers measuring 5 cm across. It grows in the high-mountain zone of the Caucasus. R. luteum (or Azalea pontica) is a deciduous, highly proliferating shrub. The plant is about 2 m tall and has fragrant yellow or orange flowers reaching 5 cm in diameter. It grows in the mountains of the Caucasus and in isolated areas in the Western European portion of the USSR.

Many species of rhododendron are ornamental. Numerous varieties and garden forms are grown in parks, rock gardens, conservatories, and homes (azaleas). The plants are propagated from seeds, cuttings, and scions. Many species of rhododendron are good nectar bearers, but their honey often is toxic.


Derev’ia i kustarniki SSSR, vol. 5. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960.
Leach, D. G. Rhododendrons of the World and How to Grow Them. London-New York, 1962.



symbol of approaching pitfalls. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 177]
See: Danger


of Nepal. [Flower Symbolism: WB, 7: 264]


of Washington and West Virginia. [Flower Symbolism: Golenpaul, 644]


any ericaceous shrub of the genus Rhododendron, native to S Asia but widely cultivated in N temperate regions. They are mostly evergreen and have clusters of showy red, purple, pink, or white flowers
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1917 the recently formed Rhododendron Society (of which Lord Aberconway was a prominent member) decided to employ George Forrest, a seasoned traveller and plant hunter in China.
It comes as rare hybrid rhododendrons there have been granted National Collection status by conservation body Plant Heritage.
ledebourii belongs to the genus Rhododendron, subgenus Rhododendron, section Rhododendron, subsection Rhodorastra according to classification of Chamberlain [6], or to the genus Rhododendron, subgenus Rhodorastrum, series Daurica according to classification accepted in Russian botanical literature [1,13,22].
Adult feeding is objectionable because it disfigures the foliage, but it will never kill a rhododendron.
The fungal-like organism mainly affects shrubs, such as rhododendron and camellia, and trees such as Japanese larch.
CAROL: Rhododendrons have done well this year but it's important to take out dead flowers now so that the plant doesn't invest energy in making seed.
A chance discovery of a rhododendron growing happily in a lime quarry in Germany led to Cunningham's White being successfully grafted on to this rootstock.
Crews have been hard at work for a year in the Garry Pinewood to remove every Rhododendron ponticum bush they can find.
This had caused big rhododendron bushes to partially collapse and these have now been braced.
Hopefully that moorland site will be clear of rhododendron for years to come and will instead be able to support smaller plants and help to bring sustainable life to the moorland again.
There's no such worries about rhododendrons and azaleas, which are so hardy they can be planted now whatever winter brings.
During March to May, various species of rhododendron flowers flourish in the sanctuary.