Native & Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas & Georgia


1223

Shrub; Tree
Perennial

Native to the Carolinas & Georgia
Documented growing wild in GA NC SC

Common in Mtns, rare in Piedmont, rare in SC, endemic to Southern Appalachians

Look for it on rocky summits, shrub balds, acid ridges & slopes (mostly at high elevations), north-facing bluffs in Piedmont, per Weakley's Flora

map
To see a detailed map, click here

 

full sun shade ...Moist ...Variable ...Dry

LEAVES:
Evergreen
Simple
Alternate

FLOWER:
Spring/Summer
Purplish-pink (rarely whitish)
Bisexual
Slightly bilaterally symmetrical
5-lobed calyx
5-lobed campanulate corolla
10 stamens
Superior ovary

FRUIT:
Summer/Fall
Capsule

 

TO LEARN MORE about this plant, look it up in a good book!



Spermatophytes (seed plants): Angiosperms (flowering plants): Eudicots: Core Eudicots: Asterids: Ericales

WEAKLEY'S FLORA (11/30/12):
Rhododendron catawbiense   FAMILY Ericaceae

SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS NATIONAL DATABASE:
Rhododendron catawbiense   FAMILY Ericaceae

SYNONYMOUS WITH VASCULAR FLORA OF THE CAROLINAS (1968) 145-05-002:
Rhododendron catawbiense   FAMILY Ericaceae

SYNONYMOUS WITH Manual of the Southeastern Flora (Small, 1933)
Rhododendron catawbiense

 

COMMON NAME:
Catawba Rhododendron, Mountain Rosebay, Purple Laurel, Pink Laurel


Click or hover over the thumbnails to see larger pictures.

image of Rhododendron catawbiense

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913    pnd_rhca8_001_lvd

        

image of Rhododendron catawbiense

JK Marlow    jkm170224_239

February    Haywood County    NC

Pisgah National Forest: Pisgah Ranger District

image of Rhododendron catawbiense

JK Marlow    jkm170224_240

February    Haywood County    NC

Pisgah National Forest: Pisgah Ranger District

image of Rhododendron catawbiense

JK Marlow    jkm120505_094

May    Rabun County    GA

Chattahoochee National Forest

Blades leathery, widely elliptical, 1/2-6" long; bases rounded, tips blunt, per Native Trees of the Southeast, An Identification Guide.


click here to see other plants that look similar to this COMPARE leaves of Kalmia and Rhododendron species

image of Rhododendron catawbiense

JK Marlow    jkm090607_012

June    Transylvania County    NC

Blue Ridge Parkway

Catawba grows 6-12' tall and wide, per Gardening with the Native Plants of Tennessee.

image of Rhododendron catawbiense

JK Marlow    jkm090607_014b

June    Transylvania County    NC

Blue Ridge Parkway

The bell-shaped flowers are purplish-rose, spotted, & in terminal clusters, per Gardening with the Native Plants of Tennessee.

image of Rhododendron catawbiense

Kevin Adams    kcarhododendroncata_w12

June    Mitchell County    NC

The Roan Highlands

The dominant shrub of the heath balds of the southern Appalachians, per Guide to the Wildflowers of SC.

image of Rhododendron catawbiense

Kevin Adams    kcarhododendroncata_w16

June    Mitchell County    NC

The Roan Highlands

image of Rhododendron catawbiense

JK Marlow    jkm0407v_24

July    Mitchell County    NC

The Roan Highlands

A thicket-forming shrub or small tree, per Native Trees of the Southeast, An Identification Guide.

image of Rhododendron catawbiense

JK Marlow    jkm150927_238

September    Henderson County    NC

Bearwallow Mountain

Terminal bud's scales are all triangular [none leaflike], per Woody Plants of the Southeastern US: A Winter Guide.

image of Rhododendron catawbiense

JK Marlow    jkm150927_239

September    Henderson County    NC

Bearwallow Mountain

Leaves very lightened below, per Woody Plants of the Blue Ridge.