Rhododendron sect. Rhodora

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Rhodora
Różanecznik kanadyjski Rhododendron canadense RB.JPG
Rhododendron canadense
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Rhododendron
Subgenus: Pentanthera
Section: Rhodora
(L.) G.Don
Species

See text

Rhodora was a section of subgenus Pentanthera in the genus Rhododendron, that has since been discontinued. It comprised two species, both deciduous shrubs native to eastern North America:

Description[edit]

The section was closely related to sect. Pentanthera, differing from it in the flower corolla having only three lobes, rather than five, the upper three lobes of sect. Pentanthera being joined into a single three-lipped lobe in sect. Rhodora.

Taxonomy[edit]

The distinct floral structure resulted in Rhodora being treated as a distinct genus at one time. Treating it as such though resulted in the remainder of the genus Rhododendron being paraphyletic. However detailed phylogenetic analysis revealed that Rhodora was not a distinct entity, but rather polyphyletic, and it was disassembled, each species being allocated to other sections. Rhododendron canadense was moved to section Pentanethera, subgenus Hymenanthes and Rhododendron vaseyi was moved to section Sciadorhodion, which then became a new section of subgenus Azaleastrum.[1]

Cultural references[edit]

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his poem, Rhodora: on being asked, whence is the flower ?

Rhodora ! if the sages ask thee why
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky
Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then Beauty is its own excuse for being.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goetsch, Loretta A.; Eckert, Andrew J.; Hall, Benjamin D. (July–September 2005). "The molecular systematics of Rhododendron (Ericaceae): a phylogeny based upon RPB2 gene sequences". Systematic Botany 30 (3): 616–626. doi:10.1600/0363644054782170. 


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