|Rhododendron macrophyllum in the Biscuit Fire area of Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Oregon, USA|
D.Don ex G. Don 1834 (R. californicum Hook.f.)
The northern limit of its range is somewhat north of the border between Canada and the United States in British Columbia. It is found as far south as Monterey Bay in California. It is widely distributed in the Coast and Cascade Mountain Ranges. It is less abundant in the Coastal Mountains of Washington and northern Oregon and more common south of the Siuslaw River. It is mostly coastal in distribution but extends its range eastward to locations in the Cascade Mountains in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.
It is a shrub growing 2–9 m tall. The leaves, retained for 2–3 years, are 7–23 cm long and 3–7 cm broad. The flowers are 2.8–4 cm long, with five lobes on the corolla; color is usually pink, although variants exist.
This species, like many rhododendrons, thrives in disturbed habitats such as roadside embankments and recently deforested wildlands.
History and cultivation
Archibald Menzies found this shrub growing along with Arbutus menziesii in May 1792 when he and George Vancouver made their second landfall after leaving Hawaii, near present day Port Discovery, Washington. Seed was sent to England in 1850 by William Lobb.
In recent years it has been the main focus of a study group at the Rhododendron Species Foundation in Federal Way, Washington, the Western North American Rhododendron Species Project (WNARSP). The WNARSP is documenting the detailed range and forms of all of the western North American rhododendron species.
The Pacific rhododendron is the state flower of Washington.
- http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/rhomac/all.html#DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE
- Justice, Clive L. Mr. Menzies' Garden Legacy, Plant Collecting on the Northwest Coast. 2000. Cavendish Books. ISBN 978-1-55289-020-2