Common name: Bearded rhododendron
Rhododendron barbatum is one of the first rhodos in our Garden to bloom in late winter in the Sino-Himalayan Garden. It is a tall shrub with brilliant red flowers. Its shoots are hairy (hence the epithet 'barbatum' which means 'bearded'), and the shiny brown bark peels off easily. It was first collected in Nepal by Joseph Hooker in the mid-19th century. The leaves, flowers and nectar are toxic. We have about a dozen specimens, mostly planted in the early 1980s.
Flower photo 1990 by Roy Forster, City of Vancouver Archives.
Bark photos by Tresa Horsey.
Leaves and shrub photos by Daderot / CC0
Botanical drawing By Fitch, W. H.; Hooker, Joseph Dalton; Hooker, William Jackson; Reeve, Benham, and Reeve - https://www.flickr.com/photos/biodivlibrary/8221578968, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42782041