There are over one thousand different plants that are labeled Rhododendron. Many of them are cultivated in people's gardens, but we have a magnificent wild variety that grows here in The Sea Ranch. We are not sure, but we think that it is Rhododendron macrophyllum. Watch for it on the edge of our wooded areas and look for it to be blooming in late April through early June. It can be a rather tall shrub (or even a modest tree) reaching heights well over a tall man's head.

Rhododendron

Rhododendron

Serious gardeners love "rhodies" and they have developed a huge number of different varieties for their gardens. There are over 28,000 different cultivars listed in the International Rhododendron Registry. Watch out though, don't eat any of our rhodies. Some Rhododendron can be quite toxic.

In 401 B.C., Greek mercenaries on their way to war with Persians ate honey made from rhododendron flowers and got into serious physical difficulty. Since then, not many Greeks eat honey made from Rhododendrons.