Rhododendron Facts



  • Rhododendrons are a big group of 800 different trees and shrubs which belong to the heath family.
  • The word ‘rhododendron’ means ‘rose tree.’
  • Most rhododendrons originally came from the Himalayas and the mountains of Malaysia where they form dense thickets.
  • Many rhododendrons are now widely cultivated for their big red or white blooms and evergreen leaves.
  • There are over 6000 different cultivated varieties of rhododendron.
  • The spectacular June blooming of the catawba rhododendron or mountain rosebay in the Great Smoky Mountains, USA, is now a tourist attraction.
  • The Dahurian is a famous purply-pink rhododendron originally from Siberia and Mongolia.
  • The Smirnow was discovered in the 1880s high up in the Caucasus Mountains on the Georgian–Turkish border.
  • Smirnows have been bred with other rhododendrons in order to make them very hardy.
  • Azaleas were once considered a separate group of plants, but they are now classified with rhododendrons.