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Rhododendron luteum - (L.)Sweet.

Common Name Honeysuckle Azalea
Family Ericaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
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[183].
Habitats Mountain meadows, sometimes on limestone, beech and open coniferous forests, to 2200 metres[184]. Grows from sea-level to the sub-alpine zone[11].
Range Europe - Austria and Poland to Turkey. Occasionally naturalized in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade
Rhododendron luteum Honeysuckle Azalea


Rhododendron luteum Honeysuckle Azalea
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Rhododendron luteum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft) by 2.5 m (8ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower in May. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Synonyms

R. flavum. Azalea pontica.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Hedge;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known

Other Uses

Hedge;  Hedge;  Rootstock.

Plants are being grown as a medium-sized hedge at Wisley, RHS gardens in Surrey[29]. Commonly used as a rootstock for many of the ornamental cultivars of azaleas[11].

Cultivation details

Succeeds in a most humus-rich lime-free soils except those of a dry arid nature or those that are heavy or clayey[1]. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam[1]. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires[200]. A pH between 4.5 and 5.5 is ideal[1]. Hardy to about -30°c[184]. A very ornamental plant[1], the flowers are sweetly scented[184] with a honey-like fragrance[245]. Plants self-sow freely when in a suitable position[11]. Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit[200], it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees[1]. 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[200]. 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[200]. Plants are tolerant of drought when they are grown under trees[184]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].

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[200]. 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[78]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult[78].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants

 

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Expert comment

Author

(L.)Sweet.

Botanical References

11200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Mark Griffiths   Thu May 25 2006

Re your reference to Huxley A, New RHS Dictionary of Gardening (1992). Would you mind giving the correct author citation, which is Huxley, A, Griffiths, M & Levy, M (Eds)? And which book, by the way, doesn't not contain 'a number of silly mistakes'? Your website is riddled with them. Mark Griffiths, Editor, The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening and associated publications

Hans Eiberg   Sun Nov 16 2008

I saw many bee-hives in Turkey (Trapzon) surrounded by many R. luteum plants- What do they use the honey for??

david n   Sun Nov 16 2008

Poisoning has occured from eating honey made from the nectar of some Rhododendron, you may want to look into that further, bee keepers websites will probably know about it.

Stephen Barrett   Thu Jun 4 2009

I saw these azaleas in plume in southern Russia in the Caucasus Mountains. The smell was as sweet as Honey Locust blossoms. A local told me that if a hiker sleeps by one of these bushes and breathes that smell all night, he'll never wake up. Is that true?

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