Jul. 30, 2018

Catawba rhododendron, Rhododendron catawbiense

Washington's state flower is coast rhododendron, R. macrophyllum. We don't have an image of that species. West Virginia's flower is great rhododendron, R. maximum. That species was previously posted. So we will enjoy another species, Catawba rhododendron. Despite its relatively limited native range, this may be the best known of all North Amereican rhodies. It is the most often cultivated, and also often a parent of hybrid garden varieties. These shrubs don't have quite the stature of the two state honorees, but for gardens that isn't a drawback. The flowers are more intensely colored than the other two species, and the evergreen foliage is attractive year round. Catawba is native in mountain areas of AL, GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, VA, and WV, and has spread to the wild in MA. Cultivated, Lenawee Co MI, 6/4/13.