Rhododendron ponticum   Rhododendron I

Rhododendron ponticum

At this location the Rhododendrons were growing in fair numbers, on the banks of the river and out of the rocks above the water too. Although it has an attractive flower, this shrub is causing havoc in some areas where it takes over from native scrub and prevents and smaller plants growing under it or even nearby through lack of light and water. It needs neutral or preferably acidic habitats and will self seed at home on our acid sandy Cheshire soils. In North Wales there are now hillsides which are covered in it and they turn purple in late Spring.

Rhododendron ponticum is now present throughout the British Isles being one the the few introductions which is as much at home in the mountainous north of Scotland as the warm south of England. It is found throughout Wales and across all of Ireland as well. It is arguably our most invasive introduction with a greater range than the much feared Fallopia japonica (Japanese Knotweed).

Although an introduction in this interglacial period in Britian, in the previous interglacial there is evidence that it was native.

By Torc waterfall, Kerry, Ireland 22nd May 2005

Added on June 5th 2005, updated November 17th 2011, updated 14th July 2014, updated 20th October 2020

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