Big-Flowered Rhododendron, Rhododendron hybrid
Ericaceae or Heath Family

Plant A small shrub with large, purple-pink flowers in rounded clusters. Each flower with 5 petals, the topmost one orange-spotted. Leaves evergreen, long and relatively narrow.

Many members of this genus are native to Virginia, but this plant is a cultivated hybrid introduced for ornamental reasons on the slopes near the northeast corner of the Park, overlooking the Grove Avenue / Main Street intersection. It may not have been a good idea, as members of the Heath Family like acid soils and the Park tends to be alkaline. Hardly anything else in the family grows here.

Rhododendrons are familiar to most people, and no native ones occur in the Park to confuse identification.


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