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Rose trees

For plants of interest with vibrancy and variability of flower colour, few groups of plants can better Rhododendrons. There are about 1000 species (including azaleas) with an amazing range of growth form and flower size, shape and colour and includes both deciduous and evergreen species. The name Rhododendron comes from Ancient Greek 'rhódon' - rose and  'déndron' - tree

They flower through much of the year including in Winter (R. davuricum 'Midwinter' flowers over Christmas), but their main flowering season is in Spring. Rhododendrons naturally grow in an amazing range of climates from the frozen north of Canada and Siberia, to the tropics of Papua New Guinea and Borneo. Rhododendrons vary in size from tiny shrubs 30cm in height (e.g. R. forrestii) to trees 30m in height (e.g. R.arboreum in Pine Wood at Ness). Most of the tropical species grow in the canopies of trees as epiphytes (they anchor themselves to a branch and then get their nutrients and water from the rain and damp forest air) and make beautiful house plants. Many new species have been discovered in recent years as areas such as Northern Vietnam and Indonesia continue to be explored by botanists.

 

Rhododendrons at Ness

Growing Rhododendrons is easy