Rhododendron obtusum

17 Jun

Rhododendron obtusum (18/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Rhododendron obtusum (18/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Position: Partial shade

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained, acidic

Eventual Height: 1.5m

Eventual Spread: 1.2m

Hardiness: 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a

Family:  Ericaceae

Rhododendron obtusum is a slow growing evergreen shrub with a dense rounded habit. Its mid green leaves are elliptic with entire margins, up to 2.5cm in long and 12mm across. Its white/ pink/ red flowers are funnel shaped with wavy edges, up to 2cm across. The fruit of the plant is capsule like and up to 25mm long.

Rhododendron obtusum Flower (18/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Rhododendron obtusum Flower (18/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Rhododendron obtusum, commonly known as Kurume Azalea, is native to Japan.

The etymological root of the binomial name Rhododendron is derived from the Greek rodon ‘a rose’ and dendron ‘a tree’. Obtusum is from the Latin menaing ‘blunt’.

The landscape architect may find Rhododendron obtusum useful as an evergreen shrub with attractive flowers suitable for planting in dappled shade locations. It is particularly suitable for planting in soils with an acid pH. This shrub may be clipped as a hedge.

Rhododendron obtusum Leaf (18/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Rhododendron obtusum Leaf (18/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Ecologically,  Rhododendron  obtusum is of little ecological value in the UK as its nectar is poisonous to bees.

Rhododendron dauricum prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It prefers an acid to neutral pH of soil.

Rhododendron obtusum requires little maintenance. Pruning should be carried out after flowering but before the new buds form.

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