Rosebay(Rhododendron anthopogon)

Botanical Name :Rhododendron anthopogon
Family: Ericaceae
Subfamily: Ericoideae
Tribes: Rhodoreae
Genus: Rhododendron
Subgenus: R. subg. Rhododendron
Sectio: R. sect. Pogonathum Sectio: R. sect. Pogonathum
Species: Rhododendron anthopogon
Subspecies: R. a. subsp. anthopogon – R. to. subsp. hypenanthum
Common Names:Rosebay, snow Rose,Dwarf Rhododendron, Talis (Hindi), Talisri (Hindi)

Habitat :
E. Asia – W. China to the Himalayas. The herb is widely cultivated in Inner Mongolia and in the Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces of China.Moist open slopes, hillsides, ledges of cliffs and in thickets at elevations of 3000 – 4500, occasionally to 5000 metres

Description:
An evergreen Shrub growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in).
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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The white or yellow flowers, tinged with pink, grow in small compact clusters of 4-6 and each flower is 2 cm across. The dark green oval leaves are strongly aromatic and densely scaly underneath. The leaves are mixed with Juniper and used as incense in Buddhist monastries as well as in Hindu religious ceremonies.

 

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid soils. and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a most humus-rich lime-free soils except those of a dry arid nature or those that are heavy or clayey. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires. A pH between 4.5 and 5.5 is ideal. Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit, it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees. Plants need to be kept well weeded, they dislike other plants growing over or into their root system, in particular they grow badly with ground cover plants, herbaceous plants and heathers. Plants form a root ball and are very tolerant of being transplanted, even when quite large, so long as the root ball is kept intact. The whole plant is strongly aromatic with a slightly acrid odour, especially when crushed. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in April. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Pot up the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter. Layering in late July. Takes 15 – 24 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult.

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Edible Uses
The flowers are used as a tea substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
Antitussive;  Diaphoretic;  Digestive;  Febrifuge;  Tonic.

The stems and leaves of the sub-species R. anthopogon hypenanthum are used in Tibetan herbalism. They have a sweet, bitter and astringent taste and they promote heat. They are antitussive, diaphoretic and digestive and are used to treat lack of appetite, coughing and various skin disorders. In Nepal, the leaves are boiled and the vapour inhaled to treat coughs and colds. The flowers of the sub-species R. anthopogon hypenanthum are also used in Tibetan medicine, having a sweet taste and neutral potency. They are antitussive, febrifuge and tonic, being used in the treatment of inflammations, lung disorders and general weakening of the body. They are also used when water and locality are not agreeable due to a change of environment.

In Nepal, Dwarf Rhododendron is used in making an essential oil. Anthopogon oil, as it is usually referred to in Nepal, is obtained by steam distillation of the aerial part of this shrub. It is a fluid liquid of pale yellow colour and sweet-herbal, faintly balsamic aroma. Rhododendron can be used in gouty rheumatic conditions. The essential oil is a stimulant and affects fibrous tissue, bones and nervous system.

you may click to see :Benefits of the Rhododendron Herb

Other Uses
Incense.

The dried leaves are used as incense.

Known Hazards :  Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many members have poisonous leaves. The pollen of many if not all species of rhododendrons is also probably toxic, being said to cause intoxication when eaten in large quantities.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.rmrp.com/Photo%20Pages/RR/Rhododendron%20anthopogon%203%20100DPI.htm
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron_anthopogon
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhododendron+anthopogon
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Dwarf%20Rhododendron.html?

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