Rhododendron maximum, the State Flower of West Virginia, at Otterhead
Most of the rhododendrons at Otterhead have Asiatic origins including Rhododendron ponticum which in a hybrid form has become one of the most notorious invasive alien plants in this country. However the North American rhododendrons, Rhododendron catawbiense and Rhododendron maximum were imported as long ago as the 1700s and have been used by rhododendron hybridisers. The rhododendron cultivars (varieties) 'Eileen', 'Lady Clementine Mitford' and 'Lady Eleanor Cathcart' all growing at Otterhead are Rhododendron maximum hybrids and there are other forms of Rhododendron maximum at Otterhead. Rhododendron maximum extends the flowering season of rhododendrons at Otterhead into July but often the newly produced shoots tend to hide the flowers.
Rhododendron maximum roseum, the earliest of the Rhododendron maximum forms to flower at Otterhead. June 2009.
Rhododendron maximum on Forestry Commission leased land at Otterhead. June 2009.
Rhododendron maximum picotee form on Forestry Commission leased land at Otterhead 25 June 2011. Identified as the Waterer hybrid 'Eileen' July 2015.
A rosy lilac form of Rhododendron maximum recently discovered at Otterhead.
The largest of the forms of Rhododendron Maximum at Otterhead. 25 June 2011.
Rhododendron maximum growing by the cleared main garden path.
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