Keele University Arboretum
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Rhododendron Rhododendron ponticum
This species is native to three main regions: around about the Black Sea, the Balkans and in the Iberian Peninsula. It was introduced into the British Isles in the second half of the eighteenth century.
It is a very common plant in parks and was much planted in Victorian times. It has given rise to a number of hybrids and in fact most plants in cultivation and those that have escaped may be hybrids and not the pure species.
It is a great nuisance in that it spreads easily into woodland and into open acid peaty ground such as bogland.
It poses a threat both to natural vegetation and to the balance of species in planted woodland and parkland, often forming great impenetrable thickets if left unchecked.
In its defence it does create shelter and nesting habitat for birds but this is outweighed by its invasiveness. It is, unfortunately, difficult to eradicate!
At Keele : throughout the woodland.