Flower gardening

The State Flower of Washington is the Coast Rhododendron

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The State Flower of Washington is the Coast Rhododendron, also known as the Pacific rhododendron. This beautiful flower is native to the Pacific Northwest and can be found in many different colors, including pink, white, purple, and red.

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Introduction

The Coast Rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum) is the official state flower of Washington. It was adopted as the state flower by the Washington Legislature in 1959. The Coast Rhododendron is a large evergreen shrub or small tree that is native to the west coast of North America, from British Columbia to California. It typically grows to 10-15 feet tall and has large, leathery leaves and showy clusters of pink or white flowers.

What is the Coast Rhododendron?

The coast rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum) is a member of the Ericaceae or heath family, and is the state flower of Washington. It is also sometimes called the Pacific rhododendron, western rhododendron, or Oregon rhododendron. The scientific name means “large-leaved rose tree.” Coast rhododendrons are native to the west coast of North America, from southeastern Alaska to northern California. They are found in a variety of habitats, including coastal bluffs, prairies, and mountain slopes.

The History of the Coast Rhododendron

The Coast Rhododendron is native to the Pacific Northwest and can be found in all of Washington’s counties. It was adopted as the state flower in 1959.

The Coast Rhododendron is a member of the Ericaceae family, which includes other plants such as heather, azaleas, and blueberries. The Coast Rhododendron can grow up to 30 feet tall and is usually found near the coast in conifer forests. It blooms in late April and early May with large clusters of pink or white flowers.

The Coast Rhododendron Today

The Coast Rhododendron, also known as Rhododendron macrophyllum, is a large Evergreen shrub that is native to the west coast of North America. It is the state flower of Washington and is also the official floral emblem of Vancouver, British Columbia. The Coast Rhododendron can grow to be up to 15 feet tall and has large, showy flowers that range in color from white to pink to purple.

The Coast Rhododendron in the Wild

The Coast Rhododendron is the state flower of Washington, and it’s no wonder why. This beautiful flower is native to the Pacific Northwest and can be found in many different habitats, from sea level to high elevations in the mountains.

The Coast Rhododendron is usually a shrub that can grow anywhere from six to ten feet tall, but it can also grow as a small tree. The leaves are large and leathery, and the flowers are very showy, ranging in color from white to pink to purple.

This hardy plant is very adaptable and can even tolerate some salt spray from the ocean. It is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens, and it makes a great addition to any landscape.

The Coast Rhododendron in Gardens

Coast rhododendrons are widely planted as ornamentals in gardens and parks and along roadsides throughout their native range on the Pacific Coast, from Oregon to Alaska. They are also found in Hawaii, where they were introduced. A few species and hybrids have been introduced into gardens in eastern North America, Great Britain, and other parts of Europe.

Coast rhododendrons are generally low-growing shrubs, usually 1 to 3 m (3 to 10 ft) tall, but some may reach 15 m (50 ft) or more in height. They have large, leathery leaves and large clusters of showy flowers that bloom in late spring or early summer. The flowers come in a variety of colors, including white, pink, purple, and red.

The coast rhododendron is the state flower of Washington.

How to Grow Coast Rhododendrons

Native to the Pacific Northwest, the coast rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum) is a popular choice for gardens in the region. An evergreen shrub, it is covered in masses of large, showy flowers in shades of pink, white, and purple from late spring to early summer. With proper care, coast rhododendrons can live for decades and grow to heights of 20 feet or more.

Planting

Coast Rhododendrons prefer a light, well-drained soil, high in organic matter. They are drought tolerant once established, but will perform and flower best with regular summer watering. Mulch plants with bark or shredded leaves to keep roots cool and moist. Rhododendrons grow best in areas that have some protection from the hot afternoon sun.

Rhododendrons can be propagated from seed or cuttings taken from new growth in late summer or early fall. Seed germination can be erratic and may take up to 18 months.

Watering

Coast Rhododendrons need watering every week during dry weather, especially when the plants are young. Apply enough water to wet the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches (15 cm), but don’t allow the soil to become soggy. Water in the early morning so the leaves have time to dry off before nightfall.

Fertilizing

Fertilizing is an important part of rhododendron care. Rhododendrons need a nutrient-rich, acidic soil to thrive. If your soil is not naturally acidic, you will need to fertilize more frequently. The best way to determine if your rhododendron needs fertilizer is to have a soil test performed by your local cooperative extension office.

If you do need to fertilize, the best time to do so is in the spring before new growth begins. Use a fertilizer specially formulated for acid-loving plants such as rhododendrons. Follow the directions on the fertilizer package for application rates and frequency. Be careful not to over-fertilize as this can damage the roots and encourage excessive leaf growth at the expense of flowers.

Pruning

Although rhododendrons dislike having their roots disturbed, they respond well to pruning. For the first few years after planting, prune to shape the plant and remove any damaged or diseased wood. After that, prune immediately after the plant blooms. Cut off spent flower clusters, or “trusses,” back to a side bud or leaf. Thin out the inside of the plant to encourage air circulation and prevent problems with fungal diseases. You can also cut back leggy branches to force the plant to produce new growth closer to the ground.

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