Rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum) is native to both Europe and Asia and was first introduced to parks, gardens, and demesnes in Britain and Ireland in the 1700’s. Rhododendron ponticum is readily recognised by its distinctive attractive flowers and large dark green coloured, oval leaves. It can grow quite tall with specimens regularly attaining 8m.
Habitats for Rhododendron include: Mixed deciduous forest, temperate heaths and raised and blanket bogs.
Rhododendron can form very dense thickets and out-compete native plants for space and resources, especially for sunlight. Other impacts on fish and invertebrate communities have been recorded. Rhododendron can also prevent access to sites by the shear mass of plant material blocking paths and right of way.
For information on Rhododendron, see:
- Identification Guide for Rhododendron ponticum (Biodiversity Ireland)
- Rhododendron ponticum (Invasive Species Ireland)
For a list of Invasive species, see www.invasivespeciesireland.com