Catawba Rhododendron; Catawba Rosebay
Roan Mountain State Park
June 23, 2007
Of the 2 large-flowered Rhododendrons in Tennessee, this one is the most showy. These shrubs prefer the higher elevations above 5000', so it takes a significant hike or drive to the top of a mountain to enjoy them. Roan Mountain is famous for its fabulous Rhododendron Gardens that bloom in mid to late June. The day we were there they were slightly past their peak.
The Rosebay Rhododendrons (Rhododendron maximum), strangely enough (with a name like that they should be pink!), have white or very pale pink flowers and bloom in the lower elevations of the Appalachian, Blue Ridge, and Cumberland Mountains.