Rhododendron maximum

Rhododendron maximum - great laurel, rosebay

The great laurel, or rosebay, is considered one of the hardiest of the wild rhododendrons. Its natural habitat in the eastern parts of North America extend to New England, where winter conditions can be very like those in Finland. Some rhododendron enthusiasts consider this species questionable for garden use because of its straggly habit and late flowering, which is partly hidden by new growth. On the other hand, this is the only species which can be used in Finland to extend the flowering season into July. The flowers are pure white, with occasionally a touch of red or violet.