The forebears of this magnificent shrub live in Yunnan, China, and in the mountains of northern Vietnam. Our plants were grown here on the Olympic Peninsula from seed produced by wild collected seed grown mothers. Put another way, these are the children of refugees as rhododendron habitat is facing unprecedented destruction throughout Asia.
This is a brand new species introduced to the west in 1996. In its native habitat, R. sinofalconeri may grow in mixed forests, bamboo forests, or in its own magnificent rhododendron forest. Here you can expect it to grow into a vigorous, tall, large-leafed evergreen tree. Flowers are in shades of yellow, often with a purple to red blotch in the throat. The leaves have a whitish indumentum if the plant grows in China, tawny indumentum if it grows in Vietnam.
This rhododendron will like: Some shade, especially relief from the hot afternoon sun – small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day – gentle watering – well aerated soil.
Plant any time, but be sure to keep moist through spring and summer.
It’s hardy for western Washington. It came through the devastating winter of 2010-2011 untouched.