Rhododendron lacteum
Common name: 
Lacteum Rhododendron
rho-do-DEN-dron lak-TAY-um
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf evergreen shrub or tree, to 30 ft (~ 1.2-9 m), maybe to 5 ft in 10 years.   Leaves simple, alternate, oblong-ovate, to oval, 7-18 cm long and 4-10 cm wide, apex rounded, often with a short acuminate tip, base rounded or chordate (heart-shaped), upper surface dark or pale green, mid-rib grooved, primary veins impressed, lower surface covered with a suede-like fawn or brown indumentum, mid- rib prominent.  Flower clusters large with 12-30 flowers, flower calyx minute, 5-lobed, corolla (petals) campanulate, 3.5-5 cm long, yellow to pale yellow, sometimes tinged with pink, sometimes with a crimson blotch.
  • -5°F, early-mid, quality rating 4-5/3-4/1-2 [flower / plant & foliage / performance; scale 1 (poor) - 5 (best)].  Part shade.  Some consider it one of the finest rhododendrons in cultivation.  Unfortunately it is not easy to grow, best in very acid soil.
  • Native range to China (Yunnan, Szechwan) and Burma (Myanmar)
  • lacteum: milky
  • Federal Way, Washington: Rhododendron Species and Botanical Garden
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • flowering branches

    flowering branches

  • leaves and flower cluster

    leaves and flower cluster

  • flower cluster

    flower cluster

  • flowers


  • leaf