Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

Rhododendron maximum

Leaves are simple, alternate, up to 9 inches long, elliptical in shape and leathery. Leaves often droop in winter and are densely maroon pubescent below. Twigs are green to red-brown and scurfy. Bark is red-brown and scaly. Flowers are showy pink-white. Fruit is a sticky capsule. Form is an understory shrub or small twisted tree up to 9 m (30 ft) tall. Rosebay rhododendron forms dense thickets and is found on moist well-drained sites in the eastern US and in northern Alabama. Tolerant of shade.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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