Rhododendron maximum, commonly called rosebay rhododendron or great laurel, is a large, upright, loose, multi-stemmed, late-blooming, evergreen shrub that is native to North America from Ontario and Nova Scotia south to Ohio, Alabama and Georgia with a concentration of plants in the southern Appalachian Mountains where it typically grows in dense thickets which dominate the understory in some locations. It typically grows to 5-15’ tall, but infrequently to 30-40’ tall in the heart of its native habitat. Large, leathery, strap-like, evergreen leaves (typically to 4-8” long) have undersides with a hint of rusty orange. Flowers (to 2” across) are rose-purplish to pink to white, often with olive green to orange spots. Flowers bloom in umbel-like inflorescences from June to early July.
Height: 5 - 15'
Spread: 5 - 12'
Spacing: 6 - 12'
Exposure: Part Sun (4 to 6 Hours) or Full Shade (Up to 4 Hours)