Branching shrubs, with alternate persistent coriaceous leaves. Flowers large, or middle-sized, purple, rose-colored or white, corymbose or umbellate, from scaly cone-like buds. Calyx small, or minute, 5-lobed or 5-parted. Corolla campanulate, 5-lobed, nearly regular. Stamens 5-10 (usually 10), little exserted, declined or equally spreading. Anthers awnless, attached by their backs to the filaments, the sacs opening by terminal pores. Style slender; stigma capitate or 5-20-lobed; ovules numerous. Capsule short or elongated, mostly woody, septicidally dehiscent, 5-20-valved from the summit. Seeds numerous. [Greek, rose-tree.]

About 100 species, natives of the northern hemisphere, most abundant in Asia. Besides the following some 5 others occur in southern and western North America. Type species: Rhododendron ferrugineum L.

Arctic-alpine shrub, 4'-12' high; leaves small, lepidote.


R. lapponicum.

Tall shrubs or low trees; leaves large, glabrous.

Leaves usually acute at both ends; calyx-lobes oblong, obtuse.


R. maximum.

Leaves mostly obtuse at both ends; calyx-lobes short, acute.


R. catawbiense.

1. Rhododendron Lappónicum (L.) Wahl. Lapland Rose Bay

Fig. 3221

Azalea lapponica L. Sp. Pl. 151. 1753.

Rhododendron lapponicum Wahl. Fl. Suec. 249. 1824.

Low, depressed or prostrate, branched, 2-12' high. Leaves oval, elliptic or oblong, obtuse and mucronulate at the apex, narrowed or rounded at the base, 4"-9" long, 2"-4" wide, densely covered with brownish scales on both sides, short-petioled; flowers few in the umbels, on short pedicels with scurfy scales; calyx-lobes oblong, obtuse, pubescent; corolla purple, 5-lobed, 7"-9" broad, the lobes oblong, obtuse; stamens 5 or 10; capsule ovoid-oblong, 2"-3" high.

Summits of the higher mountains of New England and the Adirondacks of New York; Quebec and Labrador to Greenland, west through arctic America to Alaska. Also in northern Europe and Asia. Laurel. Summer.

1 Rhododendron Lapp Nicum L Wahl Lapland Rose Bay 1563

2. Rhododendron Maximum L. Great Laurel. Rose Bay

Fig. 3222

Rhododendron maximum L Sp. Pl. 392. 1753.

A tall shrub, or sometimes a tree, with maximum height of about 40o and trunk diameter of 1°. Leaves oblong, lanceolate-oblong or broadly oblanceolate, dark green on both sides, acute or abruptly short-acuminate at the apex, narrowed to a mostly acute base, 4-7' long, 1'-2 1/2' wide, glabrous, drooping in winter; petioles stout, 1/2'-1' long; pedicels glandular, viscid-pubescent, 1-2' long; corolla 1 1/2'-2' broad, about 1' long, rather deeply 5-cleft into oval obtuse lobes, rose-color, varying to white, sprinkled with yellowish or orange spots within; calyx-lobes oblong, obtuse; capsule oblong, puberulent, 5"-7" high.

In low woods and along streams, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and Ohio to Georgia and Alabama, chiefly along the mountains, often forming almost impenetrable thickets. Wood hard, strong, light brown; weight per cubic foot 39 lbs. Deer-laurel. Big-leaf laurel. Wild or dwarf rose-bay. Cow-plant. Spoon-hutch. Mountain, horse- or bee-laurel. June-July.

2 Rhododendron Maximum L Great Laurel Rose Bay 15642 Rhododendron Maximum L Great Laurel Rose Bay 1565

3. Rhododendron Catawbiénse Michx. Mountain Rose Bay. Catawba Or Carolina Rhododendron

Fig. 3223

Rhododendron catawbiense Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 258. 1803.

A shrub, 3°-20° high. Leaves oval or broadly oblong, mostly rounded or obtuse at both ends, sometimes narrowed at the base, mucronate, 3'-$' long, 1 1/2'-2' wide, dark green above, paler beneath; petioles stout, 1/2'-1 1/2' long, pubescent when young; pedicels rather stout, pubescent, becoming glabrous; corolla lilac-purple, 1 1/2'-2' long, 2-2$' broad, 5-lobed, the lobes broad and rounded; calyx-lobes triangular-ovate, acute or acuminate, short; capsule linear-oblong, puberulent, 8"-10" high.

Mountain summits, Virginia and West Virginia to Georgia and Tennessee. Laurel. May-June.