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Other names: Lutescens rhododendron
Habitat: Rhododendron lutescens is native to E. Asia – China in C. Sichuan. It grows on the hillsides, scrub, hedges and forest edges, 1750 – 3000 metres.
Thickets and wood margins fully exposed to the sun, 2000 – 2800 metres.
Rhododendron lutescens is an evergreen Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft). with leaves that are lanceolate, oblong-lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, 4–9 by 1.5–2.5 cm in size. Flowers are yellow. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Mar to April. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects…CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
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, though this species has been shown to tolerate a neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Somewhat heat and drought tolerant. Generally hardy to about -10°c, though some forms of this species are tender in Britain. 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. A very ornamental plant. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
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.
Medicinal Uses: Not yet known.
Other Uses: Plants are being grown as a medium-sized hedge at Wisley, RHS gardens in Surrey
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