Rhododendron maximum /Heath Family
Rhodo means "rose" in Latin, dendron means "tree." This particular "rose-tree" has white flowers and pale pink buds. Notice the green dotted nectar guides on the top petals. Rosebay rhododendron flowers are white, and Catawba flowers are pink. I found this one blooming along the Twin Arches Trail in Big South Fork in late May. The toxin found in the leaves of Rhododenron is andromedotoxin, it is poisonous to all domesticated animals.
Where seen:Big South Fork NRRA, Great Smoky Mountains NP, Frozen Head SP, Warriors' Path SP