R. macrophyllum is that pink flower that grows in the woods of western Washington, Oregon and northern California gracing us with soft blooms in late May. It comes in lots of shades of pinks as well as a much rarer white.
This is the State Flower of Washington. The Western North American Rhododendron Species Project has mapped the distribution of this species and you can see the distribution by looking at their website (www.WNARSP.org)
Once established, this rhody is remarkably drought tolerant, quite able to handle the dry months of our summer with only very occasional watering. Unlike other rhododendrons, R. macrophyllum develops deep roots that not only help it survive the dry summer months, but also make transplanting larger plants more difficult. It withstands a fair amount of sun. It can become quite tree-like if grown in shade.
R. macrophyllum will appreciate small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day; gentle watering that keeps it moist until it is established (first two or three years) and good drainage with well-aerated soil.