Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Taxonomy
Rhododendron canadense (L.) Torr.
ERICACEAE (Heath Family)
EtymologyRhododendron means red tree, from the Greek: rhodos = red, or rose + dendron=tree; canadense is Latin for of or from Canada.
DescriptionRound and bushy, rhodora is a deciduous, ericaceous shrub with gray-green leaves and rose-purple flowers. Abundant in bogs and wet woods, it rarely reaches 3' in height. Rhodora's many branches are straight and erect with grayish-brown bark; young branchlets have a whitish bloom.
Wetland indicator statusFACW
Plant Heightless than 3 feet
LeavesDeciduous, alternate, entire, 4/5 - 2" long; elliptical to oblong, blunt-tipped; slightly inrolled margins; dull, gray-green above, paler and finely hairy beneath. Whorled leaves become more crowded toward the tips of the twigs.
Flower/InflorescenceRose-purple to white, 1 1/2" long; two-lipped top lip has 3 lobes, bottom lip has 2 separate recurved petals; single or in clusters; not fragrant.
Flowering PeriodMay-June, before leaves appear
FruitCapsule, small (1/2"), oval and lopsided at base so that it is banana-shaped, 5-parted, tipped with long, slender style; hairy.
Fruiting PeriodAugust-October, persisting throughout the winter.
HabitatBogs, rocky barrens, wooded swamps, and wet woods.
RangeNewfoundland to Ontario, south to northern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett