Rhododendron catawbiense is also known as Catawba Rosebay, Purple Laurel, Purple Rhododendron, Red Laurel, Catawba Rhododendron, Rosebay, or Rosebay Laurel. It is native to the Appalachian Mountains. The Appalachian Mountains are located in the Eastern United States in North America.
Rhododendron catawbiense is part of the Ericaceae family of plants. It is named after the Catawba River. This river originates in Western North Carolina and runs through South Carolina. In South Carolina, this river is called the Wateree River. The name Rhododendron comes from the Greek Rhodo meaning rose and dendron meaning tree. Rhododendron catawbiense is a suckering evergreen shrub.
Rhododendron catawbiense is probably the most durable of Rhododendrons. It can live up to 100 years. It can grow to 3m or 10ft tall. It has large green oval leaves. It flowers in mid-spring. It’s flowers are large clusters of purple-pink flowers. The flowers are terminal at end of each branch. Each cluster is composed of 20 funnel-shaped flowers. They have yellow throats. They are rich in nectar. The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. After flowering, Rhododendron catawbiense produces a dry capsule fruit. The capsule fruit contains small seeds.
Grow Rhododendron catawbiense in partials shade or shade. Plant it in moist acidic and humus-rich soil that is also well-drained. It does best if it has morning sun and shade for the rest of the day. Avoid over-wetness. Watch out for aphids, lace bugs, mealybugs, crown root, root rot, leaf spot, and powdery mildew. It does not require deadheading. Pruning should be done when flowers are done. Rhododendron catawbiense is a poisonous plant.