Rhododendron lapponicum (L.) Wahlenb.
Lapland rhododendron, Lapland rosebay
Ericaceae (Heath Family)
USDA Symbol: rhla2
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.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
DistributionUSA: AK , CT , ME , NH , NY , WI
Canada: NL , NS , ON , 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
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
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Bumble Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
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
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Rhododendron lapponicum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Rhododendron lapponicum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Rhododendron lapponicum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff