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Chapman's Rhododendron Rhododendron minus var. chapmanii

Phonetic Spelling
rho-doh-DEN-dron MY-nus chap-MAN-ee-eye
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Chapman's rhododendron is a woody, open form, deciduous shrub in the Ericaceae (blueberry) family that reaches a mature height and width of 3 to 6 feet. This is an endangered variety that is very heat tolerant and native to the piedmont region of Florida. Chapman’s rhododendron has a very limited distribution. It can be found in the flatwoods and swampy edges of Clay County in the central panhandle and in Gadsden, Leon, Liberty, Calhoun, Gulf, and Franklin Counties in the northern panhandle. The genus name derives from the Greek words rhodo, which means rose, and dendron, meaning tree.

Plant this rhododendron in high, bright shade to partial shade. Soils should be well-drained sandy loam, with high organic content, and acidic. It has rose pink flowers in the spring that are exquisite and borne in clusters that appear before the thick leathery leaves. This plant is not tolerant of salt spray, so be mindful in coastal areas.  

Grow this plant in a container as a houseplant or on a patio. In the landscape use it in a mass planting as cultivated woody shrubs in an understory forest or natural area. The plant attracts hummingbirds and bees so would be at home as a specimen or in small groups in a pollinator garden or as part of a mixed or shrub border planting.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Insect problems include aphids, borers, lace bugs, leafhoppers, mealybugs, mites, nematodes, scale, thrips and whitefly. Diseases include canker, crown rot, root rot, leaf spot, rust, and powdery mildew. Full sun can scorch the leaves, and the roots rot if soil does not drain well. This plant is frequently damaged by deer.

While rhododendrons remain very popular for landscape use, many cultivars are susceptible to Phytophthora root rot—this leads to leaf loss, reduced vigor, branch dieback, and wilting. Implement good cultural practices first, such as improving drainage with organic matter or berms and avoiding overwatering or overfertilization. For suitable alternatives, see this video created by Charlotte Glen as part of the Plants, Pests, and Pathogens series.

VIDEO Created by Elizabeth Meyer for "Trees, Shrubs and Conifers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

More information on Rhododendron minus.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#evergreen#showy flowers#deciduous#poisonous#houseplant#specimen#wildlife plant#pink flowers#deciduous shrub#nectar plant#interiorscape#mixed borders#specialized bees#border planting#pollinator plant#naturalized area#leathery leaves#flowers late spring#small group plantings#understory shrub#problem for cats#problem for dogs#bee friendly#problem for horses#shrub borders#woodland garden#container plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#evergreen#showy flowers#deciduous#poisonous#houseplant#specimen#wildlife plant#pink flowers#deciduous shrub#nectar plant#interiorscape#mixed borders#specialized bees#border planting#pollinator plant#naturalized area#leathery leaves#flowers late spring#small group plantings#understory shrub#problem for cats#problem for dogs#bee friendly#problem for horses#shrub borders#woodland garden#container plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Rhododendron
    Species:
    minus
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Florida
    Distribution:
    Flatwoods of Clay County in the central panhandle and in Gadsden, Leon, Liberty, Calhoun, Gulf and Franklin Counties in the northern panhandle.
    Wildlife Value:
    Hummingbirds are attracted to this shrub. Members of the genus Rhododendron support the following specialized bee: Andrena (Andrena) cornelli.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Houseplant
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Open
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    4 in. trusses of 4-12 pink freckled funnel shaped flowers with 5 petals on short tubes with prominate stamens in late spring
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, simple, oval oblong to elliptical, with a rounded apex. Lustrous, leathery medium green leaves; 1-2 in. long entire margins that curl down at the edges.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Specialized Bees
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Salivation, watering of eyes and nose, abdominal pain, loss of energy, depression, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, cardiac failure, difficult breathing, progressive paralysis of arms and legs, coma.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Andromedotoxin, Grayantoxin
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems