Dr. Charles Horn, Newberry College
Ten species of the Rhododendron genus are known to be native in South Carolina. Dr. Horn’s work over the last decade, through a study of herbarium material and field trips, has been to refine the identification, distribution, and ecology of these species. The species are not difficult to identify when in flower and are distinguished by flowering time, flower shape, petal color, and presence/absence of glandular hairs. Two species are evergreen and are common to the foothills, flowering during May and June. Three deciduous species are early-spring flowering and have a wide distribution. Five species flower May to July and can be distinguished by a combination of habitat and flower features. One species, May-white azalea (Rhododendron eastmanii) is endemic to South Carolina.