Rhododendron maximum is also known as the American Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Great Rhododendron, Rosebay Rhododendron, or Big Rhododendron. It is native to eastern North America. More precisely it is native to the Appalachian mountains. It is part of the Ericaceae family of plants.
Rhododendron maximum is an evergreen shrub. It has white, pink, or very pale purple flowers. It usually grows to 4m or 13ft tall. However, sometimes you can find it at twice that height. It has shallow fibrous roots. Rhododendron maximum has dark green leathery leaves. They are simple and alternate. The leaves have a hint of rusty color on the back. They are poisonous.
Rhododendron maximum flowers in June and July. The flowers are round umbels. They appear at the end of the branches. Individual flowers are funnel-shaped. They have yellowish-green spots toward the center. Rhododendron maximum flowers profusely.
Grow Rhododendron maximum in partial shade or shade. Plant it in moist soil, the soil. The soil should never dry out but also never be soggy. Shelter them from very hot locations. They prefer humus-rich acidic soil. The soil should be well-drained. Poor drainage can cause root rot.
Most of the plant is toxic if consumed. Watch out for aphids, powdery mildew, rust, leaf spot, root and crown rot, mites, scales, nematodes, whitefly, lace bugs, and leafhoppers. It is rabbit-tolerant.