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Mininberg, David T.
Rhododendron lapponicum (L.) Wahlenb.
Lapland rhododendron, Lapland rosebay
USDA Symbol: rhla2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
A low, mat-forming, evergreen shrub with scaly twigs and few-flowered clusters of bell-shaped, pink to lavender flowers. Lapland rhododendron is an aromatic, mat-forming, dwarf shrub, often only 2 in. high; seldom more than 12 in. high. Close-ranked, oblong, dark-green leaves with rusty scales occur on the thick stems and knotty branches. One to five, purple, fragrant flowers appear in terminal clusters at the ends of the branchlets.
This little, mat-forming shrub is one of the first showy alpine species to flower. It is found on the peaks of higher New England mountains such as Mount Washington, New Hampshire, and the Adirondack peaks of New York. It also grows in the Wisconsin Dells.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
AK , CT , ME , NH , NY , WI Canada: NL
, QC Native Distribution:
Arctic & sub-arctic N. Am., s. to Mt. Katahdin, ME; Presidential Range, NH; Adirondacks, NY; & the Wisconsin Dells Native Habitat:
Limestone slopes; rocky tundra & barrens USDA Native Status: L48(N), AK(N), CAN(N),
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, limey soil.
BenefitWarning: Rhododendrons contain poisonous substances and should not be ingested by humans or animals. Honey made from flowers also may be toxic. POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Highly Toxic, May be Fatal if eaten. Symptoms include salivation, watering of eyes and nose, abdominal pain, loss of energy, depression, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, difficult breathing, progressive paralysis of arms and legs, coma. Toxic Principle: Andromedotoxin. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Sow seed in sandy loam and cover with a thin layer of sand. Can be transplanted as soon as the plant can be handled.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
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Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff