This is indeed the king of shrubs! Its glossy, leathery leaves are a commanding size and deserve respect. The tawny indumentum on the underside of the leaf adds interest, but the crowning glory is the truss of up to thirty white flowers flushed with rosy tints, or darker with deep purple spot in ‘Quartz’ pictured here. Truly regal!
This is one of the great species of western China – by growing it here, you may help to preserve this important gene pool which is threatened in its native habitat.
Our R. rex grew to six feet in 10 years in a woodland setting. In a more open setting, it will be more compact. Leaves can grow up to 12 inches.
This rhododendron will like: light shade, fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, gentle watering in loose, well-aerated soil. It’s hardy to about 5 F.