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Rhododendron rex subsp. rex
  • RHS AGM

king rhododendron

R. rex subsp. rex is a very large evergreen shrub or small tree with broadly obovate, glossy dark green leaves with buff indumentum beneath, and trusses of bell-shaped white or pink flowers, blotched crimson at base, in mid to late spring

Size
Ultimate height
8–12 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Sand
Clay
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Pink White Green Brown
Summer Green Brown
Autumn Green Brown
Winter Green Brown
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Ericaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Harmful if eaten. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

Rhododendron can be evergreen or deciduous shrubs or trees, with simple leaves, sometimes with a dense colourful indumentum of hairs on the lower side, and funnel-shaped, bell-shaped or tubular flowers that may be solitary or in short racemes

Name status

Correct

Plant range
SW China

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moist but well-drained, leafy, humus-rich acid soil in part shade with shelter, best in light woodland conditions; see rhododendron cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by semi-ripe cuttings in late summer, layering in autumn or grafting in late summer or late winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
Pruning

Pruning group 8

Pests

May be susceptible to vine weevil, rhododendron and azalea whitefly, rhododendron leafhopper, pieris lacebug, scale insects, caterpillars and aphids

Diseases

May be susceptible to various Rhododendron diseases including powdery mildews, rhododendron petal blight, rhododendron bud blast, silver leaf and honey fungus

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