Plant of the Month for November 2014

Rhododendron campylogynum
Rhododendron campylogynum

Description and General Information:

This dwarf rhododendron, usually 15-30 cm tall, most commonly forms a low mound or dome with small evergreen leaves and somewhat nodding 1.5-2 cm long flowers that are thimble-like in shape.  The flower colour is variable, from dark maroon through shades of purple, pink to cream.

This species is widespread from the Arunachal Pradesh, S and SE Xizang, Upper Burma and N to SW Yunnan.  It grows on moist moorlands, open mossy hillsides, along cliff edges and even in open woodlands at elevations ranging from 2400-4900 m.  Most commonly, it grows on granitic, acidic substrates but is also known to grow on limestone.


Cultivation:

This species requires full sun and a well-drained but evenly moist soil. It has a preference for acidic soil. It will survive into zone 5 if there is adequate snow cover.  Not tolerant to high summer temperatures or drought. In warmer areas, try providing shade from the mid-afternoon sun. It can be a challenging species to cultivate.

Blooming Period:

April to July.

Propagation:

Seeds, cuttings

Seeds:

Seeds may be direct sown at 70 F.  They require light for germination.

Division:

Not practiced.

Cuttings:

Tip cuttings about 3-6 cm may be taken in mid-fall and rooted in a mist chamber.

 

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