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Rhododendron 'Windbeam'

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
rho-doh-DEN-dron wahynd- beem
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

‘Windbeam’ azalea is a cold hardy deciduous woody shrub in the Ericaceae (blueberry) family.  This small cultivar grows to 3 to 4 feet high and wide with a somewhat straggly habit. The genus name derives from the Greek words rhodo, which means rose, and dendron, meaning tree. 

'Windbeam' is easy to grow, prefering moist, well-drained, acidic soils in dappled shade and protection from afternoon sun, which can scorch the leaves. They do not tolerate dense clay, so if you have clay soil, amend with organic material. Pruning, if desired, may be done after flowering.  The flowers are pink and showy and appear in mid-spring and the leaves are small and fragrant when crushed.  Dead head the flowers to encourage new growth.  This cultivar is resistant to browsing by rabbits.

The semi-dwarf habit of ‘Windbeam’ makes it suitable for use in a container on a patio or in another small space.  It is at home in a pollinator, cottage, or woodland garden where its fragrant, showy flowers will attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.  The showy flowers and interesting leaves make it a great accent plant, or plant it in a row to make small hedge or use it along the front of a shrub border.

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. 

While these shrubs 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. However, if you have a site with a history of this disease, consider planting one of the root rot-resistant alternative species listed in the left-hand sidebar. 

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.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#hummingbirds#evergreen#poisonous#small spaces#easy to grow#wildlife plant#fragrant leaves#native bees#cottage garden#rabbit resistant#specialized bees#pollinator plant#compact habit#butterfly friendly#problem for cats#problem for dogs#bee friendly#problem for horses#shrub borders#semi-dwarf#container plant#low hedge#flowers mid-spring#accent
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#hummingbirds#evergreen#poisonous#small spaces#easy to grow#wildlife plant#fragrant leaves#native bees#cottage garden#rabbit resistant#specialized bees#pollinator plant#compact habit#butterfly friendly#problem for cats#problem for dogs#bee friendly#problem for horses#shrub borders#semi-dwarf#container plant#low hedge#flowers mid-spring#accent
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Rhododendron
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Wildlife Value:
    Nectar attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Members of the genus Rhododendron support the following specialized bee: Andrena (Andrena) cornelli.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a 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
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Elongated capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Orange
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    White to deep pink or yellow flowers 1 in wide with apricot tinge in a terminal clusters of 8 flowers that look like a ball. Individual flowers are tubular or funnel shaped, 5-parted
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Small, alternate, simple olive green leaves; aromatic when crushed appear in mid-spring right as flowers appear. Flowers turn bronze in the fall.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Small Space
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Hedge
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Rabbits
    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, difficult breathing, progressive paralysis of arms and legs, coma.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Andromedotoxin.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems