Rhododendron ferrugineum (sometimes called alpenrose, snow-rose, or rusty-leaved alpenrose) is an evergreen shrub that grows just above the tree line in the Alps, Pyrenees, Jura and northern Apennines, on acid soils.
It is the type species for the Rhododendron genus. It may grow up to 1 m tall and produces clusters of pinkish-red, bell-shaped flowers from May to July. The undersides of the leaves are covered in rust-brown spots, which give the species the second part of its binomial name (ferrugineum, Latin for "rust-coloured", "ferruginous").
Ideal for woodland gardens, shady edges or grown in mixed flower gardens and compositions. Decorative. Plants can be grown as ground cover when spaced about 1 m apart each way.
Succeeds in a most humus-rich lime-free soils except those of a dry arid nature or those that are heavy or clay. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires. A pH between 4.5 and 5.5 is ideal.
Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit, it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees. Plants need to be kept well weeded, they dislike other plants growing over or into their root system, in particular they grow badly with ground cover plants, herbaceous plants and heathers. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Information sources: wikipedia.org, pfaf.org.
Approximately 1000 tiny seeds in the packet.
Genus - Rhododendron
Species - Ferrugineum
Common name - Alpenrose
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 8
Height - 0.25 m
Plant type - Perennial Flower, shrub
Vegetation type - Evergreen
Exposure - Full Sun, partial shade
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acid (pH 4.5-5.5)
Soil type - Sandy, loamy, well drained, moist
Water requirements - Average, high
Landscape uses - Woodland garden dappled shade, shady edge, ground cover
Bloom season - May - July
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Pink
Sow late autumn or December to January in seed bowls outdoors exposed to the weather and let them get thoroughly cold.
Also can be stratified cold/moist stratified in the fridge at +2-+4C.
Keep in such conditions for couple of weeks and bring them into the warm.
Seeds should be sown on surface and covered with glass or clear plastic. Keep in bright and warm (min +15C) place.
Normally germinates in 2-3 weeks.
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