White, spotted with red and yellow.
New York to Georgia.
Flowers: clustered together in great bunches; the flower-stalks clammy. Calyx: of five very short, cleft sepals. Corolla: tubular; almost bell-shaped; five parted and greenish in the throat. Stamens: ten. Pistil: one with a red stigma. Fruit: a pod with small seeds. Leaves: broadly elliptical; entire; glabrous; evergreen; in texture like leather. Stem: six to twenty feet high; woody; fibrous; leafy.
To come upon one of the haunts of the great laurel in the moist shady woods of summer, is to get an inspiration that can be recalled with pleasure during the whole lifetime. For the imagination can picture no more glorious burst of nature than that which will then be spread out before one. It were, however, well for us not to try to follow our pathway through the waxy flowers, but to imitate the custom of the sheep and go around; as the intermingling, close manner of their growth is in places so great as to make the way quite impassable.
The shrub is well adapted for cultivation, when the flowers become very large, and are most effective as decorations in parks. The sweetest sight that Liverpool has to show to the unsteady traveller from over the sea is the rhododendrons that there grow so luxuriously. A feeling of pride inevitably takes possession of him, and he is sure to inform the first person with whom he comes in contact that they are from his own country, America.
In the south, where the rhododendrons are common, they sometimes reach a height of twenty-five feet.