Rhododendron catawbiense

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Rhododendron catawbiense
R. catawbiense growing wild on Mount Mitchell, North Carolina
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
(unranked):Angiosperms
(unranked):Eudicots
(unranked):Asterids
Order:Ericales
Family:Ericaceae
Genus:Rhododendron
Subgenus:Hymenanthes
Species:R. catawbiense
Binomial name
Rhododendron catawbiense
Michx.
Natural range
 
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Rhododendron catawbiense
R. catawbiense growing wild on Mount Mitchell, North Carolina
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
(unranked):Angiosperms
(unranked):Eudicots
(unranked):Asterids
Order:Ericales
Family:Ericaceae
Genus:Rhododendron
Subgenus:Hymenanthes
Species:R. catawbiense
Binomial name
Rhododendron catawbiense
Michx.
Natural range

Rhododendron catawbiense (Catawba Rhododendron) is a species of Rhododendron native to the eastern United States, growing mainly in the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia south to northern Alabama.

It is a dense, suckering shrub growing to 3 m tall, rarely 5 m. The leaves are evergreen, 6–12 cm long and 2–4 cm broad. The flowers are 3-4.5 cm diameter, violet-purple, often with small spots or streaks. The fruit is a dry capsule 15–20 mm long, containing numerous small seeds.

The species is named after the Catawba tribe of Native Americans.

Classification[edit]

R. catawbiense belongs to the Subgenus Hymenanthes, within which it is further assigned to Section Ponticum and Subsection Pontica. The latter — one of the 24 subsections of Ponticum — also contains about a dozen other species.

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Rhododendron catawbiense is cultivated as an ornamental plant, popular both in North America and in Europe. It is primarily grown for its spring flower display. Outside of its native range, it has naturalized locally north to Massachusetts. Many cultivars have been selected. [1]

It is very closely related to (and very difficult to distinguish from) the European species Rhododendron ponticum, and it hybridizes readily with it in cultivation. The hybrid is invasive in parts of northeastern Scotland, in areas too cold for typical R. ponticum to thrive. [2] The presence of this hybrid was only determined by genetic analysis.

References[edit]

  1. ^ R. catawbiense cultivars . accessed 1.31.2013
  2. ^ (Milne & Abbott 2000)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]