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Rhododendron maximum

Rhododendron maximum L.

Rhododendron ashleyi Coker

Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rosebay Rhododendron, American Rhododendron, Big Rhododendron, Great Rhododendon

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderEricalesTea, persimmon, blueberry, Brazil nut, azalea, many others
FamilyEricaceaeHeath or heather family
GenusRhododendronFrom Greek rhodos, “rose,” and dendron, “tree”
Speciesmaximum

About plant names...

These largest of the rhododendron family are natives of eastern North America.

Identification: These large shrubs often reach 13' (4 m) in height, rarely reaching heights of 33' (10 m). Trunks are multiply branched, crooked, forming gangly, sparse shapes when there is little light, and even, dense foliage in ample light. Leaves are 3½-7" (9-19 cm) × ¾-1½" (2-4 cm), elliptical, with smooth edges, dark glossy green on top, light green or tan below, with a prominent central vein. Flowers appear in attractive, dense clusters of up to 25. They are bell-shaped; pink, white tinged with pink, or white and spotted; 1½-2" (3.8-5 cm) across. Fruits are clusters of oval pods about ½" (1.3 cm) × ¼" (6.3 mm), green, maturing to brown and splitting into five sections.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones Leaves are toxic to people and many animals.

Online References:

Rhododendron maximum on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook

Rhododendron maximum at the Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site

Rhododendron maximum on www.rosebay.org

Rhododendron maximum on the USDA Plants Database

Rhododendron maximum at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Rhododendron maximum at the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Rhododendron maximum on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database

Rhododendron maximum at the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands

Rhododendron maximum (Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rosebay Rhododendron, American Rhododendron, Big Rhododendron, Great Rhododendon)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm)

Rhododendron maximum (Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rosebay Rhododendron, American Rhododendron, Big Rhododendron, Great Rhododendon)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm)

Rhododendron maximum (Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rosebay Rhododendron, American Rhododendron, Big Rhododendron, Great Rhododendon)

6/19/2016 · Rhododendron State Park, Between Fitzwilliam and Richmond, NH
≈ 10 × 7" (24 × 16 cm)

Rhododendron maximum (Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rosebay Rhododendron, American Rhododendron, Big Rhododendron, Great Rhododendon)

6/1/2008 · Holden, MA · By Philip A. Despo

Rhododendron maximum (Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rosebay Rhododendron, American Rhododendron, Big Rhododendron, Great Rhododendon)

6/19/2016 · Rhododendron State Park, Between Fitzwilliam and Richmond, NH
≈ 10 × 7" (24 × 16 cm)

Rhododendron maximum (Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rosebay Rhododendron, American Rhododendron, Big Rhododendron, Great Rhododendon)

6/19/2016 · Rhododendron State Park, Between Fitzwilliam and Richmond, NH

Rhododendron maximum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 5 Oct 2016.

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Rhododendron maximum (Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rosebay Rhododendron, American Rhododendron, Big Rhododendron, Great Rhododendon)

9/28/2011 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Rhododendron maximum (Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rosebay Rhododendron, American Rhododendron, Big Rhododendron, Great Rhododendon)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Rhododendron maximum (Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rosebay Rhododendron, American Rhododendron, Big Rhododendron, Great Rhododendon)

6/19/2016 · Rhododendron State Park, Between Fitzwilliam and Richmond, NH

Rhododendron maximum (Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rosebay Rhododendron, American Rhododendron, Big Rhododendron, Great Rhododendon)

6/19/2016 · Rhododendron State Park, Between Fitzwilliam and Richmond, NH

Rhododendron maximum (Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rosebay Rhododendron, American Rhododendron, Big Rhododendron, Great Rhododendon)

3/9/2012 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Rhododendron maximum (Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rosebay Rhododendron, American Rhododendron, Big Rhododendron, Great Rhododendon)

12/22/2011 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (14 × 22 cm)

Rhododendron maximum (Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rosebay Rhododendron, American Rhododendron, Big Rhododendron, Great Rhododendon)

6/19/2016 · Rhododendron State Park, Between Fitzwilliam and Richmond, NH

Rhododendron maximum (Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rosebay Rhododendron, American Rhododendron, Big Rhododendron, Great Rhododendon)

6/19/2016 · Rhododendron State Park, Between Fitzwilliam and Richmond, NH

Range: Zones 3-7:

About this map...