Rhododendron Maximum (Great Rhododendron)

Rosebay Rhododendron, Great Laurel Seeds (Rhododendron Maximum)

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Rhododendron maximum, it's common names include great rhododendron, great laurel, rosebay rhododendron, American rhododendron and big rhododendron, is a species of Rhododendron native to the Appalachians of eastern North America, from Nova Scotia south to northern Alabama.

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Rhododendron maximum, it's common names include great rhododendron, great laurel, rosebay rhododendron, American rhododendron and big rhododendron, is a species of Rhododendron native to the Appalachians of eastern North America, from Nova Scotia south to northern Alabama. R. maximum is an evergreen shrub growing to 4 m (13 ft), rarely 10 m (33 ft), tall. The leaves are 9–19 cm (3–8 in) long and 2–4 cm (0.75-1.5 in) broad. The flowers are 2.5–3 cm (1 in) diameter, white, pink or pale purple, often with small greenish-yellow spots. The fruit is a dry capsule 15–20 mm (.60-.79 in) long, containing numerous small seeds. The leaves can be poisonous. Leaves are sclerophyllous, simple, alternate, and oblong (10 to 30 cm long, 5 to 8 cm wide). It retains its waxy, deep-green leaves for up to 8 years, but once shed are slow to decompose. It produces large, showy, white to purple flowers each June. R. maximum is the state flower of the U.S. state of West Virginia. R. maximum has also been called : Great Rhododendron, Late Rhododendron, Summer Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Bigleaf Laurel, Deertongue Laurel, Rose Tree, Rose bay, Bayis, Mountain Laurel
Label Rhododendron maximum
Common name Rosebay Rhododendron, Great Laurel
Family Ericaceae
Genus Rhododendron
Species Rhododendron maximum
Cultivar No
Therapeutic uses Rosebay rhododendron is a striking and aesthetically pleasing feature of mesic southern Appalachian forests. It is one of the largest and hardiest rhododendrons grown commercially. Several cultivars with white to purple flowers have been selected for the horticultural trade (Brown and Kirkman 1990). Where it occurs naturally, it produces a showy, white, pink, or light purple flower primarily in June, but occurs from March into August. Rosebay rhododendron maintains deep-green foliage year round. This species affords protection to steep watersheds and shelter for wildlife. The wood is very hard and is occasionally used for specialty wood products.
Germination Seeds from rosebay rhododendron are minute and it is estimated that approximately 11 million are contained in 1 kg. Commercial seed production is generally from cultivated hybrids. Seeds from wild sources are not commonly sold commercially. Rosebay rhododendron is a slow-growing shrub and has a very high sprout potential. If mechanical removal is attempted in the case of forest management, extremely high densities are attained by this species in a manner of a few years. Prescribed fire has also been used to control this species but with limited success (Clinton and Vose 2000).
Scarification / Stratification No

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