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Rhododendron catawbiense

This plant has poison characteristics. See below.
Common Name(s):
Purple rhododendron, Catawba rhododendron, Mountain rosebay
Categories:
Native Plants, Poisonous Plants, Shrubs
Comment:

Large leathery dark green leaves; spread of 8 to 10'; often becomes leggy when grown in unfavorable conditions; native to Appalachian mountains

Description:
Woody, evergreen or deciduous shrubs; leaves alternate, simple, smooth- or toothed-margined; flowers in a terminal cluster, tubular, 5-parted, white to deep pink or yellow; fruit an elongated capsule.
Height:
6-10 ft.
Foliage:
Large, leathery, alternate, glossy dark green leaves; 3 to 6 in. long; may develop yellow-green winter color
Flower:
5 to 6 in. umbel of lilac-purple to pale lavender-pink flowers in mid-spring; green or yellow-brown markings in throat
Zones:
4 to 8
Habit:
Evergreen
Site:
Morning sun to high bright shade; moist, well-drained soil; grows best in mountain conditions, cooler temperatures
Texture:
Medium to coarse
Form:
Dense, wide spreading shrub
Exposure:
Sun to high bright shade; moist, well drained soil
Fruit:
5 to 6 in. trusses of lilac purple to pale lavender pink flowers
Distribution:
Native to southern Appalachian mountains, from Virginia through Georgia
Poison Part:
All parts.
Poison Delivery Mode:
Ingestion.
Symptoms:
Salivation, watering of eyes and nose, abdominal pain, loss of energy, depression, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, difficult breathing, progressive paralysis of arms and legs, coma.
Toxic Principle:
Andromedotoxin.
Severity:
HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN!
Found in:
Houseplant or interiorscape; landscape as cultivated woody shrub; forest or natural area.
Width:
8-10 ft.

NCCES plant id: 534

Rhododendron catawbiense Rhododendron catawbiense
Photo by David Winship, CC BY-NC-2.0
Rhododendron catawbiense Rhododendron catawbiense
Photo by BlueRidgeKitties, CC BY-NC-SA - 2.0
Rhododendron catawbiense R. catawbiense in the wild
Photo by Blue Ridge Kitties, CC BY-NC-SA - 2.0