Wildlife, Animals, and Plants
VALUE AND USE
SPECIES: Rhododendron macrophyllum | Pacific Rhododendron
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE :
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE :
Pacific rhododendron is one of the shrubs eaten by mountain beaver in
the Coast Range . Common rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum), a
closely related species, is poisonous to sheep . Pacific
rhododendron may also be poisonous to sheep .
NUTRITIONAL VALUE :
COVER VALUE :
Pacific rhododendron may provide good thermal and hiding cover for big
game animals . However, thickets can be difficult for the animals
to enter . Presumably, Pacific rhododendron provides cover for
smaller animals also.
VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES :
Pacific rhododendron offers erosion protection on steep watersheds .
It is propagated by cuttings, by layering, and from seed .
Air-dried seeds will remain viable for 30 months when stored at 20
degrees F (-7 deg C) . Germination and early growth are good in
shaded, moist mineral soil . Detailed information on cultivation of
Pacific rhododendron is available [35,38,42,47].
OTHER USES AND VALUES :
Pacific rhododendron is the state flower of Washington. Kitsap
Peninsula residents host an annual weeklong Rhododendron Festival during
spring bloom . Pacific rhododendron is not as widely cultivated as
the showier Rhododendron hybrids, but it is used as an ornamental in
backgrounds or native gardens and naturalized woodlands [33,35]. Native
plants like Pacific rhododendron have potential value for low-water-use
landscaping . Both white and pink forms are commercially available
. Growing Pacific rhododendron in partial shade to full sun and
debudding or pruning encourage compact growth and bloom [33,35]. Wild
plants are legally protected from digging [7,33].
MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS :
Pacific rhododendron often indicates low soil nitrogen content. On
sites where it is dominant, care should be taken to protect the soil
from damage from heavy equipment or fire during logging [22,27].
Conifer planting can be difficult on sites that had dense Pacific
rhododendron cover before treatment because of the residual roots.
Removing the overstory may stimulate the growth of Pacific rhododendron
and other shrubs . If the soil is undisturbed during treatment, it
resprouts rapidly .
If control is necessary, spraying the foliage in spring with triclopyr
ester gives fair to good control [6,54].
Related categories for Species: Rhododendron macrophyllum
| Pacific Rhododendron