Rhododendron kaempferi

 

Botanical Name :Rhododendron kaempferi
Family: Ericaceae
Subfamily:Ericoideae
Tribe: Rhodoreae
Order: Ericalendron
Subgenus:Azaleastrum
Section:Tsutsusis
Species: Rhododendron kaempferi Planch.
Genus: Rhodode

Synonyms:
*Rhododendron obtusum var. kaempferi
*Rhododendron kaempferi f. latisepalum
*Rhododendron kaempferi var. lucidusculum
*Rhododendron scabrum var. kaempferi
*Rhododendron obtusum var. kaempferi f. purpuriflorum

Common Names: Kaempferi azaleas

Habitat :Rhododendron kaempferi is native to E. Asia – Japan. It grows on the open woods and scrub, sunny grassy hillsides and mountainsides to 1600 metres, all over Japan.

Description:
Rhododendron kaempferi is a woody, evergreen or deciduous shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft) by 2.5 m (8ft).
Leaves are alternate dark green & redish during fall, simple, smooth- or toothed-margined; flowers in a terminal cluster, tubular, 5-parted, white to deep pink or yellow; fruit an elongated capsule; easier, less demanding than Kurume azaleas.

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It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
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. Plants are hardy to about -20°c, but are deciduous in cold climates. 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. This species is closely related to R. indicum. 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:
Flowers – raw or cooked. Some caution is advised, see the notes on toxicity. Leaves – boiled. Some caution is advised, see the notes below on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
Not yet known.

Other Uses: …Plants can be grown as ground cover when spaced about 1 metre apart each way.

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 supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhododendron+kaempferi
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron_kaempferi
https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/all/rhododendron-kaempferi/

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