Rhododendron

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Source: RBG, Edinburgh

Rhododendron (from Ancient Greek rhódon "rose", and déndron "tree")[1][2] is a genus of over 1000 species of woody plants in the heath family, most with showy flowers. It includes the plants known to gardeners as azaleas.

Contents

Description

The Rhododendron is a genus characterized by shrubs and small to (rarely) large trees, the smallest species growing to 10–100 cm tall, and the largest, R. giganteum, reported to over 30 m tall.[3] The leaves are spirally arranged; leaf size can range from 1–2 cm to over 50 cm, exceptionally 100 cm in R. sinogrande. They may be either evergreen or deciduous. In some species the underside of the leaves is covered with scales (lepidote) or hairs (indumentum). Some of the best known species are noted for their many clusters of large flowers. There are alpine species with small flowers and small leaves, and tropical species such as section Vireya that often grow as epiphytes.

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