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Rhododendron catawbiense Michaux. Pink Laurel, Catawba Rhododendron, Rose Bay, Oval-leaf laurel. Phen: Apr (in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain)-Jun; Jul-Oct. Hab: Rocky summits, shrub balds, acid ridges and slopes (mostly at high elevations), north-facing bluffs in the Piedmont, and sometimes in mesic situations in the Mountains. Dist: A Southern Appalachian endemic: VA and KY south to GA and AL, with scattered disjunct populations in the Piedmont and extreme upper Coastal Plain.

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Taxonomy Comments: The disjunct populations in central NC are discussed by Coker (1919), who named them forma insulare on the basis of "the larger and broader leaves and … the longer flowers." R. catawbiense is apparently most closely related to R. macrophyllum D. Don ex G. Don of nw. North America (Milne 2004).

Synonymy: = C, F, FNA8, G, K1, K3, K4, NE, RAB, S, Tn, Va, W, WV, Chamberlain (1982), Luteyn et al (1996)

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: FACU
  • Northcentral & Northeast: FACU

Heliophily: 6

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image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan Cressler: Rhododendron catawbiense, Round Bald, Pisgah and Cherokee National Forest, Mitchell County, North Carolina and Carter County, Tennessee 1 by Alan Cressler source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Grant Morrow Parkins | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan Cressler: rhododendron catawbiense, blood mountain, blood mountain wilderness, chattahoochee national forest, union county, georgia 15 by Alan Cressler source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Edwin Bridges | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷

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