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Martin, Edwin M.
Rhododendron catawbiense Michx.
Catawba rosebay, Purple rhododendron, Red laurel, Catawba rhododendron, Mountain rosebay
USDA Symbol: rhca8
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
, WV Native Distribution: VA
s. to GA
& AL Native Habitat:
Mountain woods; rocky slopes
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Shade
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Various well-drained soils.
PropagationDescription: Combine seeds loosely with sphagnum moss and sprinkle lightly over a 2:1 perlite/peat mixture. Germinate under mist or a plastic tent. Optimum temperatures for germination are 45-50 degrees. Transplant seedlings to acid soil with a high content of orga
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Delaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DEMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2013-09-08
Research By: TWC Staff