A large, multi-stemmed, evergreen which reach to 30′ in Appalachian Mountains with thick leathery dark green leaves with light rusty underside. Habit is upright and spreading generally broader than tall and will form dense thickets in the forest understory. Bright pink buds open into rose-margined, shell pink or white 1.5″ blossoms with yellow flecks and coloration near 12 o’clock, reminiscent of large apple blossoms. Blooms later than most large-leaved rhododendrons in late June in clusters of up to 25 flowers. Growing along streams and on moist, rocky wooded slopes, R. maximum tolerates the low pH associated with damp, shady almost bog-like conditions. Prefers partial shade moist, cool, acidic, well-drained, organic soil, tolerates and flowers in relatively dense shade. State flower of W. Virginia.
Hedge or Screen
Moist Soil, Water or Wet Soil
Partial Shade, Shade
Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9