Rhododendron ponticum

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaEricaceaeRhododendronRhododendron ponticum


An evergreen shrub naturalised on heathy and rocky hillsides, rocky stream banks and ravines, and as an understorey in woodland on acid soils. It regenerates from seed freely and can form dense thickets. 0-600 m (Eel Crags, Cumberland).



World Distribution

Native of two, disjunct areas: the Iberian peninsula and S.E. Europe, Lebanon, Turkey and the Caucasus.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 5

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 3

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.6

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1111

Height (cm): 500

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Mega-, meso- and microphanerophyte



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Clonality - secondary

Shortly creeping and rooting at nodes

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1966

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 507

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 6

Atlas Change Index: 1.83

Weighted Changed Factor: 13

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (192c)
Cross JR
1975.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 137. Rhododendron ponticum L. Journal of Ecology. 63:345-364.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E
1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.