The Rhododendron is Washington State's state flower. It is also the name of a Washington State Ferry vessel, MV Rhododendron. The Rhododendron has a length of 227', beam of 62', a draft of 10', and weighs 937 tons. It can carry 546 passengers and 65 vehicles at up to 11 knots, and was built in Baltimore, Maryland in 1947.

Source: WSDOT web site

This Asian flowering shrub’s beautiful blooms and enormous diversity in size and shape make it a popular choice in most gardens. The genus Rhododendron is shared with Azaleas and has over 1450 species and hybrid.

Needing ample rainfall and requiring a slightly acidic soil this shrub can bloom in various shades of white, red, pink, yellow, blue, purple, magenta, orange and can have mixtures within these colours.

Rhododendron have their own annual festival, and the genus is the national flower of Nepal.

It’s interesting to note, in light of its popularity, that according to the Language of Flowers this particular flower holds the message of ‘danger’ or can mean ‘beware I am dangerous’.

Rho`do*den"dron (?), n. [L., fr. Gr. "rodo`dendron, literally, rose tree; "ro`don rose + de`ndron tree. See Rose.] Bot.

A genus of shrubs or small trees, often having handsome evergreen leaves, and remarkable for the beauty of their flowers; rosebay.

 

© Webster 1913.

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