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Rhododendron anthopogon is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 0.60 metres tall.
It has edible, medicinal and miscellaneous uses.
Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many members have poisonous leaves. The pollen of many if not all species of rhododendrons is also probably toxic, being said to cause intoxication when eaten in large quantities[
E. Asia - W. China to the Himalayas.
Moist open slopes, hillsides, ledges of cliffs and in thickets at elevations of 3000 - 4500, occasionally to 5000 metres[
Succeeds in a most humus-rich lime-free soils except those of a dry arid nature or those that are heavy or clayey[
]. Prefers a peaty or well-drained sandy loam[
]. Succeeds in sun or shade, the warmer the climate the more shade a plant requires[
]. A pH between 4.5 and 5.5 is ideal[
Succeeds in a woodland though, because of its surface-rooting habit[
], it does not compete well with surface-rooting trees[
]. Plants need to be kept well weeded, they dislike other plants growing over or into their root system, in particular they grow badly with ground cover plants, herbaceous plants and heathers[
Plants form a root ball and are very tolerant of being transplanted, even when quite large, so long as the root ball is kept intact[
The whole plant is strongly aromatic with a slightly acrid odour, especially when crushed[
Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[
The flowers are used as a tea substitute[
The stems and leaves of the sub-species R. anthopogon hypenanthum are used in Tibetan herbalism[
]. They have a sweet, bitter and astringent taste and they promote heat[
]. They are antitussive, diaphoretic and digestive and are used to treat lack of appetite, coughing and various skin disorders[
In Nepal, the leaves are boiled and the vapour inhaled to treat coughs and colds[
The flowers of the sub-species R. anthopogon hypenanthum are also used in Tibetan medicine, having a sweet taste and neutral potency[
]. They are antitussive, febrifuge and tonic, being used in the treatment of inflammations, lung disorders and general weakening of the body[
]. They are also used when water and locality are not agreeable due to a change of environment[
The dried leaves are used as incense[
Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in mid spring. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry[
]. Pot up the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter.
Layering in late July. Takes 15 - 24 months[
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult[