West Highland Flora

Rhododendron


Rhododendron ponticum

 

Rhododendron ponticum

Photo Carl Farmer
25 May 2003 Portree, Skye

A frequent garden escape in woodland, and sometimes spreading beyond it, thriving on Skye's acid soils.  Needs to be controlled as it is detrimental to the native woodland flora and fauna.

Flower diameter c 4-6 cm.  Leaves c 6-12 cm

ID: A woody bush with large leathery untoothed leaves, alternating along the stem but more or less forming a rosette at each stem tip, from which arises a cluster of pink-purple 5-petalled flowers in May-June.

Other features: This species is the stock onto which most garden varieties of Rhododendron are grafted; consequently when they spread it is this species that spreads and not the cultivars.  If any Rhododendron species other than this one is found, it was almost certainly planted where found even if the place is now in a wild condition.  These cultivars tend to be very different from the present species in their flower colour or size, though the leaves often look the same.

 

Rhododendron ponticum

Photo Carl Farmer
25 May 2003 Portree, Skye
 

Most flowers still in bud here but one open at the bottom


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