Rhododendron dauricum - Dahurian rhododendron

Rhododendron dauricum comes from East Asia. It is an upright shrub growing up to two metres at most and has leathery leaves, dark green on top and lighter underneath. Some are evergreens, others partly or fully deciduous, and the shape of the leaves and the flowers vary according to habitat. As a rule the leaves turn yellow or dark red in autumn. Most of the leaves then fall off, but some darkened leaves remain at the tips of the twigs throughout the winter and turn green again in spring.

The flowers are small and break early in spring. The amount of blossom varies from year to year. It is most abundant in sunny places but on open ground late frost may nip the breaking buds and curb the annual growth. The finest bushes are in fact below the Terrace, shaded by Macedonian pines.

The Dahurian Rhododendrons at Mustila grow to just over a metre in the Rhododendron Valley and near the Terrace and sometimes produce more blossom, sometimes less. The flowers on these old shrubs are small, 2–3 cm in diameter. The leaves of the Coastal Mountain subspecies (R. dauricum subsp. sichotense) planted quite recently in the Arboretum are rounder and broader and the flowers clearly larger, measuring 4–5.5 cm in diameter.


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