Rhododendron macrophyllum D. Don ex G. Don
Pacific rhododendron (California rhododendron)
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Brian Klinkenberg     (Photo ID #14215)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Rhododendron macrophyllum
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend


Our native rhododendron has broadly campanulate, pink to rosy purple, occasionally white, flowers spotted yellow. The truss holds 10-20 flowers. The leaves are oblong to elliptic and up to nine inches long. Grows to five feet in 10 years. Blooms in mid to late spring.

Note Author: Gary Lewis, Phoenix Perennials

Species Information

Erect to spreading shrub; stems branched, 1-8 m tall, glabrous but finely hairy when young.
Evergreen, leathery, oblong-elliptic, 8-20 cm long, entire, glabrous or nearly so, dark green above, paler beneath; stalks 1-2 cm long.
Many, in terminal clusters; flower stalks glabrous, up to 5 cm long; corollas pale pink to deep rose-purplish, spotted red-brown, tubular bell-shaped, 2.5-4 cm long, up to 5 cm across, deeply 5-lobed, lobes spreading and edges wavy; calyces minute, very shallowly lobed; stamens 10, filaments sparsely short-hairy on the lower half; anthers oblong, red-brown, 2-3 mm long.
Capsules, 1.5-2 cm long, rusty-hairy and glandular, woody.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Black
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Rhododendron macrophyllum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
607 490 1330
Slope Gradient (%)
9 0 72

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

2 9 330
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 2 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

CWH(23), ESSF(3), IDF(35)

Habitat and Range

Mesic to moist forests in the lowland and montane zones; locally frequent in the Cascade Mountains, rare on S Vancouver Island; S to MT and N CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Rhododendron californicum Hook.