Rhododendron sect. Rhodora
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Rhododendron sect. Rhodora
- Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan.
- Chamberlain DF, Hyam R, Argent G, Fairweather G, Walter KS (1996). ‘The genus Rhododendron: its classification and synonymy.’ (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh: Edinburgh) ISBN 1 872291 66 X
- Craven, L.A.; Goetsch, L.A.; Hall, B.D.; Brown, G.K. (2008). "Classification of the Vireya group of Rhododendron (Ericaceae)". Blumea - Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants 53 (2): 435. doi:10.3767/000651908X608070.
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