Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Shrub-like Trees, Evergreens
Light Requirements: part-shade, shade
Water Use: medium
Soil Moisture: moist
Soil Description: acid, rich, loam
Bloom Time: June, July
Bloom Color: white, pink
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Additional Tags: attracts birds, evergreen, fall interest, ornamental foliage, shade garden plant
Pricing & Availability
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Rhododendron maximumAlso known as:
Rhododendron maximum is the largest rhododendron native to north America, typically reaching a mature height of 15', but it has been known to grow up to 30' under exceptionally favorable conditions. Everything about this shrub is large: the 25, or so, individual white to pink flowers are up to 2" across, and clustered to form large showy umbels. The evergreen leathery leaves are broad, strap-like, and up to 4" across and 8" long. The blooming period is later than most native rhodies, occurring early to mid-summer.
Great laurel should be grown in filtered light, but will tolerate full shade. It requires acidic soil rich in organic material, that is both well-drained and remains consistently moist. Heavy, poorly-drained clay soils should be avoided because this species does not tolerate wet feet. The root system is shallow and fibrous. Cultivating around the base of the plant is strongly discouraged. Regularly adding a layer of mulch will help maintain appropriate moisture and acidity levels. This is a very cold hardy shrub.Zones 3-8
Propagate from seed. Stem cuttings may be taken in fall or winter.
For visual effect, if a 'green mulch' is preferred, Asarum canadense would be the plant of choice. This broadleaf ground cover will help keep the soil cool around the shrub's base without interfering with its root system.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
AL, CT, DC, DE, GA, KY, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WV
USDA Endangered Status:
- Exploitably Vulnerable: NY
- Threatened: ME, MA, OH, VT
|Species||Rhododendron maximum||great laurel|