Catawba Rosebay Plant Information
Catawba Rosebay grows in the following 9 states:Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia
The species is named after the Catawba River.It is a dense, suckering shrub growing to 3 m tall, rarely 5 m. The leaves are evergreen, 6-12cm long and 2-4cm broad. The flowers are 3-4.5cm diameter, violet-purple, often with small spots or streaks. The fruit is a dry capsule 15-20mm long, containing numerous small seeds.Rhododendron catawbiense, with common names Catawba rosebay,Catawba rhododendron,mountain rosebay,purple ivy,purple laurel,purple rhododendron,red laurel,rosebay,rosebay laurel, is a species of Rhododendron native to the eastern United States, growing mainly in the southern Appalachian Mountains from Virginia south to northern Alabama.
Rhododendron catawbiense belongs to the Subgenus Hymenanthes, within which it is further assigned to Section Ponticum and Subsection Pontica. The latter - one of the 24 subsections of Ponticum - also contains about a dozen other species. The taxonomy has been confused by a tendency to group all large leaved Rhododendrons under the catch-all R. catawbiense.
Rhododendron catawbiense is cultivated as an ornamental plant, popular both in North America and in parts of Europe. It is primarily grown for its spring flower display. Outside of its native range, many cultivars and hybrids have been created, such as 'Purple Elegans', 'Roseus Elegans', and 'Grandiflorum'.
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