Herb: Rosebay


Latin name: Rhododendron aureum


Synonyms: Rhododendron chrysanthum


Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)



Medicinal use of Rosebay:

The flowers are used in Tibetan medicine, they are said to have a bitter taste and a neutral potency. Caution should be exercised when using the flowers because they are toxic. Haemostatic, they are used in the treatment of spreading pus and blood in the thoracic region, especially the lungs.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Shrub

Height:
50 cm
(1 foot)

Flovering:
May

Habitat of the herb:

Thickets in high mountain areas, both alpine and sub-alpine. Grasslands or liverwort-mosses strata in the alpine region at elevations of 1000 - 2500 metres.

Propagation of Rosebay:

Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in April. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Pot up the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter. Layering in late July. Takes 15 - 24 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult.

Cultivation of the herb:

Thickets in high mountain areas, both alpine and sub-alpine. Grasslands or liverwort-mosses strata in the alpine region at elevations of 1000 - 2500 metres.

Known hazards of Rhododendron aureum:

Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many members have poisonous leaves. The pollen of many if not all species of rhododendrons is also probably toxic, being said to cause intoxication when eaten in large quantities.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.