Position: Dappled shade
Flowering period: Spring
Soil: Moist, well drained, acidic
Eventual Height: 3m
Eventual Spread: 4m
Hardiness: 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a
Rhododendron lutescens is an evergreen shrub with a loose bushy habit. Its dark green leaves are lanceolate with entire margins, up to 9cm long and 2.5cm broad. Its leaves are bronze in colour when the first appear. It yellow flowers are funnel shaped, up to 2.5cm across, appear terminally or in the leaf axils in groups of up to 3. The fruit of the plant is a capsule which is up to 1cm across.
Rhododendron lutescens, commonly known as Lutescens Rhododendron, is native to south central China. In its native habitat it grows in damp mixed woodlands.
The etymological root of the binomial name Rhododendron is derived from the Greek rodon ‘a rose’ and dendron ‘a tree’. Lutescens is derived is from the Latin lutea meaning ‘yellow’ and the epithet escens meaning ‘like’.
The landscape architect may find Rhododendron lutescens useful as an evergreen spring flowering shrub suitable for soils with an acid pH. As it prefers to be located in dappled shade, it is suitable for woodland planting schemes.
Ecologically, Rhododendron lutescens is of little ecological value in the UK. Its nectar is poisonous to bees.
Rhododendron lutescens prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It prefers an acid to neutral pH of soil.
Rhododendron lutescens requires little maintenance. Pruning should be carried out after flowering but before the new buds form.