All photographs copyright (2003-2013) by Kris H. Light

<strong>Dwarf Rhododendron; Small-leaved Rhododendron </strong>
<em>Rhododendron minus</em> / Heath Family
July 11, 2006<br>
I led a hike for the Tremont Summer Naturalist Week to Charlie's Bunion. I was excited to find these small Rhododendrons wit...
Dwarf Rhododendron; Small-leaved Rhododendron
Rhododendron minus / Heath Family
July 11, 2006

I led a hike for the Tremont Summer Naturalist Week to Charlie's Bunion. I was excited to find these small Rhododendrons with pink flowers blooming on the slate rock outcropping (see next photo). I was a bit confused, because the plants were much smaller than the Catawba Rhododendrons found in other areas of the park. My first thought was it might be a Mountain Azalea, but my wildflower ID book ruled that out. The plants were very prevalent on the mountainside, they must have been spectacular a couple of weeks earlier when they would have been at their peak. My trusty old (and I mean REALLY OLD, first ID book from 1985), Great Smoky Mountains Wildflowers had it listed in the description with R. catawbiense. The plants grow only 3 - 4 feet tall compared to 8 - 12 feet. The flower clusters more sparse, not like the large "pompom" clusters of its' larger relatives. Dwarf Rhododendron has short leaves, the other 2 species have long leaves. Rosebay RhododendronR. maximum has white flowers and long leaves. All parts of rhodendrons are deadly poisonous to people and many animals.
Shrub
Where seen: Great Smoky Mountains NP
May also be classified as: R. carolinianum
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