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The alpen rose

Rhododendron ferrugineum

It is difficult to imagine that there are more than five hundred species of the genus Rhododendron in the world. Most of these come from Asia; they are deciduous or evergreen plants and range from small shrubs to big trees. Generally, rhododendrons are known as ornamental plants, and they are found in many gardens all over Europe. In fact, apart from the many species, there are also several hundred varieties that were raised for horticultural purposes.
The alpine species in Europe, such as the Alpen rose (Rhododendron ferrugineum), are shrubs.
The alpen rose
 
The alpen rose

Species characteristics

The Alpen rose is a rounded, 20-100cm tall shrub, with oval-shaped, dark green leaves that are shiny above and reddish-scaly beneath.
The rose-crimson flowers are 1-1.5cm long. This rhododendron is found on alpine pastures that are no longer intensively grazed, but it mainly occurs in open woodland, forming a dense carpet in the undergrowth that consists of many separate plants growing closely together, which in May burst out in a bright rose-crimson colour - a real spectacle!
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