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
Rhododendrons is easy