Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Rhododendron ‘Rosa Mundi’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch
Rhododendron 'Rosa Mundi' Flower (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Rhododendron 'Rosa Mundi' Flower (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Position: Partial shade

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained, acidic

Eventual Height: 1.5m

Eventual Spread: 1.8m

Hardiness: 6b – 9b

Family:  Ericaceae

Rhododendron ‘Rosa Mundi’ is a slow growing, compact evergreen shrub. Its dark green leaves are elliptic, spirally arranged and up to 13cm in length and are brown below. The pink flowers of the plant are large and funnel shaped, held tightly in spherical clusters, with wavy edges. The fruit of the plant is capsule like.

Rhododendron ‘Rosa Mundi’, commonly known as Rosa Mundi Rhododendron, was a hybrid created at Standish & Noble Nursery, Surrey, England in 1860. Thailand. The exact parentage is unclear, one parent is thought to be Rhododendron caucasicum. Rhododendron ‘Rosa Mundi’ is synonymous with Rhododendron ‘Rosamundi’. Rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal.

Rhododendron 'Rosa Mundi' (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Rhododendron 'Rosa Mundi' (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Rhododendron is derived from the Greek rodon ‘a rose’ and dendron ‘a tree’.

The landscape architect may find Rhododendron ‘Rosa Mundi’ useful as an evergreen screening plant with attractive flowers in soils with an acid pH. As it prefers to be located in dappled shade, it is suitable for woodland planting schemes.

Ecologically, R. ‘rosa mundi’ does not posses much ecological value in the UK as its nectar is poisonous to bees.

R. ‘rosa mundi’ prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It will tolerate an acid to neutral pH of soil, although it prefers an acid pH.

R. ‘rosa mundi’ requires little maintenance. Pruning should be carried out after flowering but before the new buds form.

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