Rhododendron arboreum

 

Botanical Name : Rhododendron arboreum
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Rhododendron
Subgenus: Hymenanthes
Species: R. arboreum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names: Burans or Gurans

Habitat :Rhododendron arboreum is native to E. Asia – Himalayas to Sri Lanka. It grows in the forests and shrubberies with Pieris ovalifolia and Quercus incana, 1500 – 3600 metres from Pakistan to S.E. Tibet in the Himalayas.
Description:
Rhododendron arboreum is an evergreen Shrub growing to 12 m (39ft) by 3 m (9ft). It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. It has been recorded as reaching heights of up to 20 m, although more usually it has a height and spread up to 12 m (36 ft) x 12 m (36 ft). Its species name arboreum means tree-like. It has broad, dark green leaves, 3-7in long, with a silvery, fawn or brown hairy coating beneath.

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This plant holds the Guinness Record for World’s Largest Rhododendron. The tree discovered in 1993 at Mt. Japfü in Kohima district of Nagaland, India, holds the Guinness Record for the tallest Rhododendron at 108 ft measured at the time of discovery which is still growing.

In early- and mid-spring, trusses of 15–20 bell-shaped flowers, 5 cm (2 in) wide and 3–5 cm (1.25–2 in) long are produced in red, pink or white. They have black nectar pouches and black spots inside.

One of the most stately and impressive species rhododendrons, Tree Rhododendron is the state tree of Uttarakhand. It is extremely variable in stature, hardiness, flower color and leaf characteristics.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in most humus rich lime free soils except those of a dry arid nature or 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. Requires a pH between 4.5 and 5.5. Hardy to between -10 and -15°c, the pink flowered form is hardier than the red. 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. There are many named varieties selected for their ornamental value. 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. This plant is the national flower of Nepal. The flowers are sold in local markets and used as offerings to the Gods and Godesses. A very ornamental plant, it is not very hardy outdoors in much of Britain, but grows well in the milder areas of the country. 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.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves.
Edible Uses:

The tender leaves are used as a cooked vegetable. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Flowers – raw or cooked. A sweet-sour taste, they are said to make a good sub-acid jelly. Th flowers are sometimes simply pickled by adding salt and chili. Caution is advised, large quantities can cause intoxication.

Medicinal Uses:
The young leaves are astringent and poultice. They are made into a pasteand then applied to the forehead in the treatment of headaches. The juice of the bark is used in the treatment of coughs, diarrhoea and dysentery. A decoction of the flowers is used to check a tendency to vomit, especially if there is also a loss of appetite. The juice of the flowers is used in the treatment of menstrual disorders. The petals are eaten to assist the removal of any animal bones that have become stuck in the throat.

Other Uses:
Charcoal; Fuel; Repellent; Wood.

The juice of the leaves is spread over cots and beds to get rid of bed lice. Wood – soft, even grained, seasons badly. Used in turnery, it can also be used to make charcoal and for fuel. Th wood is much employed in Nepal where it is used for making household implements, building small houses and fences. Planks of the wood are carved to make boxes, cupboards and other furniture. It is a very good fuel, burning well with a long-lasting heat – overcollection of the wod for fuel, and also for making charcoal, has become a cause for conservation concern.

Known Hazards : The leaves are poisonous. The flowers can cause intoxication in large quantities.

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

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron_arboreum
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Tree%20Rhododendron.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhododendron+arboreum

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