Rhododendron maximum

Great Laurel, Rosebay, Rosebay Rhododendron

In Stock: 0.416 lb (Total:0.416lb)
  • RHODODENDRON maximum

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0.42 lb


Germination test:
Seeds per lb:
0.42 lb
Collected in:
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Growing Info

Scarification: none required|none required
Stratification: none required
Germination: requires light for germination, surface sow and keep moist

Other: Sterile soil should be used, care should be taken to not sow the seed too thick 

Rhododendron maximum, also known as Great Laurel, Rosebay, or Rosebay Rhododendron, is a stunning evergreen shrub that produces showy flowers in summer. The flowers can be white, pink or purplish, and are 2" in diameter. They bloom from March to August and are often spotted with small greenish-yellow spots. The leaves are deep green, simple, alternate, and oblong, and grow 4-8" long. This plant prefers cool, moist, acid soil and shade and is native from Nova Scotia to Georgia and Alabama. This species grows up to 13ft tall, but can reach up to 33ft tall. The flowers are followed by a dry capsule containing numerous small seeds that can be poisonous. Rhododendron Maximum produces a thick, peat-like humus, prefers well-drained sandy loam and succeeds in sun or shade, with more shade required in warmer climates. It retains its deep green leaves for up to 8 years, but once they fall they are slow to decompose. This species also has a tremendous capacity for avoiding cavitation during freeze-thaw cycles. It is an important structural and functional component of southern Appalachian forest ecosystems and affords protection to steep watersheds and shelter for wildlife. It is also a striking and aesthetically pleasing feature of mesic southern Appalachian forests and is one of the largest and hardiest rhododendrons grown commercially. However, it can have an inhibitory effect on the regeneration of other plant species, reducing woody and herbaceous seedling abundance throughout its range, and hence poses a serious impediment to the production of wood products. Despite this, the state flower of West Virginia is Rhododendron Maximum. This plant is slow-growing and reproduces vegetatively through a process called 'layering'. It is a great addition to any moist, shaded area in the garden specifically suited for this type of soil.

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