Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Rhododendron periclymenoides (Michx.) Shinners
- Family: Heath (Ericaceae)
- Flowering: March-May
- Field Marks: The distinguishing features of this Rhododendron are the deciduous leaves,
the pink flowers that open just as the leaves begin to expand, the nearly smooth leaves, and
the faint odor of the non-glandular hairy flowers.
- Habitat: Woods, swamps, thickets.
- Habit: Shrub or small tree to 12 feet tall, the upper stems much branched.
- Stems: Grayish to orange-brown, slender, sparsely hairy when young, becoming smooth or nearly so at maturity.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, elliptic to oblong, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, smooth or sparsely hairy beneath, without teeth, up to 3 inches long, up to 1 1/2 inches wide; leaf stalks up to 1/4 inch long, densely white-hairy.
- Flowers: 6-12 in terminal clusters, faintly aromatic, rose to reddish pink, on hairy stalks up to 1/2 inch long.
- Sepals: 5, attached to each other, green, ciliate but not glandular, the lobes about 1/10 inch long.
- Petals: 5, united to form a slender tube, rose to reddish pink, the tube up to 1 inch long, the lobes up to 1 inch long, hairy but not glandular.
- Stamens: 5, exserted beyond the petals.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, hairy; style up to 2 1/2 inches long.
- Fruits: Capsules cylindrical, white-hairy, up to 1 1/2 inches long.
- Notes: For many years this species was known as Rhododendron nudiflorum. This species is frequently grown as an ornamental.
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