Rhododendron niveum
Common name: 
Niveum Rhododendron
rho-do-DEN-dron ni-VE-um
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf evergreen shrub/tree, 5 ft ( m) tall in 10 years, open, upright, tree-like, my reach 6 m, although multi-stemmed.  Leaves alternate, simple, oblong-lanceolate to elliptic, 11-17 cm long, smooth dark green above, white to pale brown indumentum below.  Flowers deep magenta to deep lilac, even a dull smoky blue, dark nectar pouches, 5 cm long, tubular-bell shaped, in tight, rounded clusters, with 15-20 flowers.
  • -5°F, early-mid; quality rating: 3/3-4/3 [flower / plant & foliage / performance; scale 1 (poor) - 5 (best)].
  • Native to India (Sikkim) and Bhutan, 9,000 to 12,000 ft elevation.
  • "The Story of the Rhododendron Niveum"  -- "For a while, during the later part of the nineteenth century, Rhododendron niveum enjoyed great popularity, and was widely planted in Victorian gardens, but the plants then appeared to lose favour. Many were uprooted and consigned to the bonfire." Why? See   http://heligan.com/news-events/news-article/rhododendron-niveums
  • Rhododendron Species Foundation and Botanical Garden, Federal Way, Washington.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • flower clusters and leaves

    flower clusters and leaves

  • flower cluster

    flower cluster

  • leaves