Herb: Rhododendron


Latin name: Rhododendron ponticum


Synonyms: Rhododendron lancifolium, Rhododendron speciosum


Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)



Medicinal use of Rhododendron:

A medicine made from the plant is used to treat heart and circulation malfunctions, but it should not be used without expert supervision.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Shrub

Height:
5 m
(16 feet)

Flovering:
May to
June

Habitat of the herb:

Rich forests under Fagus, Picea and Abies species, it is also found above the tree line. Sandy and peaty soils in woods and open places in Britain.

Other uses of Rhododendron:

Plants are being grown as a hedge at the RHS gardens in Wisley, Surrey. It tolerates quite hard clipping.

Propagation of the herb:

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 Rhododendron:

Rich forests under Fagus, Picea and Abies species, it is also found above the tree line. Sandy and peaty soils in woods and open places in Britain.

Known hazards of Rhododendron ponticum:

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.