Herbs & Plants

Rhododendron luteum

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Botanical Name : Rhododendron luteum
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Rhododendron
Species:R. luteum
Order: Ericales

Synonyms: Azalea pontica, Rhododendron flavum

Common Names: Yellow Azalea or Honeysuckle Azalea

Habitat :Rhododendron luteum is native to Europe – Austria and Poland to Turkey. Occasionally naturalized in Britain. It grows on the mountain meadows, sometimes on limestone, beech and open coniferous forests, to 2200 metres. Grows from sea-level to the sub-alpine zone.

Rhododendron luteum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m tall, rarely 4 m. The leaves are 5-10 cm long and 2-4 cm broad. The flowers are 3-4 cm diameter, bright yellow, and strongly perfumed, produced in trusses of 5-25 together. The fruit is a dry capsule 15-25 mm long, containing numerous small seeds.

It is in flower in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
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. Hardy to about -30°c. A very ornamental plant, the flowers are sweetly scented with a honey-like fragrance. Plants self-sow freely when in a suitable position. 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. Plants are tolerant of drought when they are grown under trees. 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 know

Other Uses: Plants are being grown as a medium-sized hedge at Wisley, RHS gardens in Surrey. Commonly used as a rootstock for many of the ornamental cultivars of azaleas.The flower has sweet perfume.

Cultural references:
The plant is depicted instead of the crown above the coat of arms of the Local Community of Boštanj. It has been chosen because the area is one of the rare growing places of Rhododendron luteum in Slovenia. The coat of arms was created in 1998 by the artist Rudi Stopar.
Known Hazards: Despite the sweet perfume of the flowers, the nectar is toxic, containing grayanotoxin; records of poisoning of people eating the honey date back to the 4th century BC in Classical Greece.

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.


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