Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Rhododendron catawbiense

Catawba rosebay, Purple rhododendron, Red laurel, Catawba rhododendron, Mountain rosebay

Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Rhododendron catawbiense (Catawba rosebay)
Cressler, Alan
A mound-shaped, broadleaf evergreen shrub, 6-20 ft. tall, with stout, picturesque, ascending branches. The foliage is dense, thick, glossy and dark green, often in winter developing a yellow-green cast. The numerous bell-shaped, rosy-lilac flowers occur in dense, terminal clusters. An evergreen shrub with clusters of large, rose or purple-lilac, funnel-shaped flowers.

This attractive flowering shrub with southern affinities forms dense thickets on mountain slopes. Frequently used as an ornamental, it has been hybridized with the less hardy Himalayan species to produce some of our most spectacular showy rhododendrons.

Image Gallery:

8 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , GA , KY , MA , NC , SC , TN , VA , WV
Native Distribution: VA to KY, s. to GA & AL
Native Habitat: Mountain woods; rocky slopes

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Shade
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Various well-drained soils.

Last Update: 2014-08-20