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Tree Rhododendron   
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Tree Rhododendron
E Native Tree
Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Tree Rhododendron • Hindi: बुरांस Burans, लाल बुरांश Lal buransh • Tamil: பிலி Billi • Malayalam: Kattupoo varasu • Kannada: Pu • Nepali: लाली गुराँस Lali gurans
Botanical name: Rhododendron arboreum    Family: Ericaceae (Heath family)

One of the most stately and impressive species rhododendrons, Tree Rhododendron is the state tree of Uttarakhand. It is extremely variable in stature, hardiness, flower color and leaf characteristics. Its species name arboreum means tree-like. It has broad, dark green leaves, 3-7in long, with a silvery, fawn or brown hairy coating beneath. In early- and mid- spring trusses of 15-20 bell-shaped flowers, 2in wide and 1.25-2in long are produced in scarlet color. They have black nectar pouches and black spots inside. This plant holds the Guinness Record for World's Largest Rhododendron. In fact, a scarlet Rhododendron arboreum on Mt. Japfu, Nagaland reached a height of 20 m Scarlet rhododendron is native to Himalayas, from Kashmir eastwards to Nagaland. A postal stamp was issued by the Indian Postal Department to commemorate this flower.

Photographed in Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand.
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