Carolina Nature

Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of North Carolina

Dwarf Rhododendron, Gorge Rhododendron, Punctatum (Rhododendron minus)

Plantae>Magnoliophyta>Magnoliopsida>Ericales>Ericaceae>Rhododendron minus Michaux

Rhododendron minus

Fairly common in the southern 2/3 of the Mountain region of North Carolina, this ornamental evergreen also occurs in a few counties in the southern Piedmont and one location in the Coastal Plain. It is still in need of a good common name. "Piedmont Rhododendron" has been suggested by Kartesz (USDA PLANTS database), but this is a poor choice for NC because this species is rare in the Piedmont (where Catawba Rhododendron is much more common).

Whiteside Mountain, Jackson Co., NC 5/14/06 (all photos).

Rhododendron minus

Nearly identical vegetatively to the Carolina Rhododendron (R. carolinianum), with which it used to be lumped, R. minus blooms later (late May-June in the Mountains) and has larger flowers (corolla 25-37 mm long vs. 15-20 mm long in R. carolinianum).

Rhododendron minus

The lower surface of the leaf is punctate, covered with brown scales.

Rhododendron minus

Bark detail.

More information:
Discover Life
USDA PLANTS database

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