Rhodora (Gr. , a rose, from the color of the flowers), a native shrub of which the botanical and common names are the same. R. Canadensis is the only species, and is by some botanists appended to rhododendron, from which it differs in its deciduous leaves and its very irregular flowers, the corolla being two-lipped, the upper lip three-lobed, and the lower two-parted, or of two distinct spreading petals. The shrub is 1 to 3 ft. high, with copper-colored stems and oblong leaves, revolute on the margin, pale glaucous green above, and whiter and downy beneath. The flowers, in umbel-like clusters, or little tufts, at the ends of the branches, appear just before the leaves, and are of a bright rose-purple and showy; occasionally white-flowered specimens are met with. It is found from Pennsylvania to New England and northward and eastward; it sometimes grows in damp cold mountain woods, but more abundantly in wet marshes, where, especially in the vicinity of Boston, it sometimes covers acres in April or May, with its bright yet modest bloom.
Like many other plants, which when growing wild are always found in very wet places, the rho-dora succeeds well when transferred to ordinary garden soil, and is a shrub eminently worthy of cultivation.