views updated May 23 2018

Rhododendron (family Ericaceae) A genus of shrubs or trees that have big, scaly buds, simple, alternate, mostly evergreen leaves, and flowers borne in short racemes or umbel-like clusters, with 5-lobed, funnel-shaped to bell-shaped, slightly irregular corollas, and 5 or 10 stamens. Many species and hybrids are cultivated for their splendid flowers and sometimes for their foliage. If it is incorporated in quantity by bees, Rhododendron nectar may render honey poisonous. There are about 850 species, in 3 major groups. The Rhododendron group includes both showy temperate species and the Vireya group of delicate, tropical species, some of which have scented flowers. The vast majority of species are confined to the mountains of South-east Asia and the Himalayas, but a few extend westwards into Europe and N. America, and 1 to northern Australia. Azalea (with 5 stamens) is sometimes regarded as a separate genus.


views updated May 18 2018

rhododendron Large genus of shrubs and small trees that grow in the acid soils of cool temperate regions in North America, Europe, and Asia. Primarily evergreen, they have leathery leaves and bell-shaped white, pink or purple flowers. Family Ericaceae. See also azalea


views updated May 17 2018

rho·do·den·dron / ˌrōdəˈdendrən/ • n. a shrub or small tree (genus Rhododendron) of the heath family, with large clusters of bell-shaped flowers and typically with large evergreen leaves, widely grown as an ornamental.


views updated Jun 11 2018

rhododendron XVII. — L. rhododendron oleander — Gr. rhodódendron, f. rhódon rose + déndron tree.