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Pacific Rhododendron

Rhododendron macrophyllum

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The Pacific Rhododendron is a large, evergreen shrub common to the coastal and low mountain areas of the Pacific Northwest. Leaves are oblong, dark green and have a leathery texture. The flowers have five lobes and are generally bright pink, although purple and white can also occur. The blooms grow in large clusters containing up to twenty flowers each. Although considered an understory plant, the rhododendron can reach up to 30 feet (9.1 m) in height and may come to resemble a small tree. The plant usually grows alongside Salal, Oregon Grape, Evergreen Huckleberry, and other coastal species in both conifer and deciduous forests.

The plant is often cultivated for ornamental purposes and is common in urban landscaping throughout the Pacific Northwest. It is the state flower of Washington.

Distribution

This species is abundant in the coastal mountain ranges of Oregon and east into the Cascade Range. It is less abundant north of the Siuslaw River. Its northernmost boundary is approximately the U.S.-Canada border and it extends south as far as Monterey, California. The rhododendron will often grow in newly disturbed habitat, such as logging sites or along roadsides.

Conservation Status

Common.