R. spinuliferum

The forebears of these plants grow in thickets and pine forests in Yunnan and Sichuan.

Its unique leaf and flower make it easily identifiable. The flowers appear in clusters of upright, tubular, firecracker-like blooms in red, soft orange to white. They are long lasting and always attract attention.

The leaves are long, pointed and have an interesting lighter texture with very prominent veins. The unique loose shape is intriguing. It twists and dances as it pleases, so if you need the perfect round ball of a rhodie, this is not your plant. It might reach a maximum height of 8 feet but is quite prune-able. It will prefer a warmer spot in your garden with sun and some shade. A shady spot will do also, but it will bloom more prolifically with some sun.

This rhododendron will like: sun or shade – small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day – gentle watering – well aerated soil with good drainage.