Adopted on January 23, 1903.
The Big Laurel, Rhododendron
Maximum, is the state flower of West
Virginia. It was selected on January 23,
1903, by the Legislature, following a
vote by pupils of the public schools. It
is a shrub of the heath family and may
be recognized by its large dark
evergreen leaves and delicate pale pink
or white bloom, mottled with either red
or yellow flecks.
- Leaf: Evergreen,
alternate, simple, pinnately veined,
4 to 10 inches long, elliptical,
with entire margins. Leaves are dark
green and shiny above, whitish with
rust colored hair , with rolled
edges that curl in winter.
- Flower: Showy, large,
pale pink or white with a corolla of
five rounded petals. Flower stems
sticky. June to July.
- Fruit: Many tiny seeds
borne in a long stemmed, red-brown
capsule (1/2 inch long), splitting
along five lines when mature
- Twig: Stout, whitish
green in color, covered with
reddish-brown hair. Vegetative buds
are small, appearing enclosed in
small leaves. Flower buds are
egg-shaped, enclosed in rusty,
- Bark: Thin, light brown
and smooth when young. Broken into
thin scales on older stems.
- Form: A large shrub or
small tree with several twisted
stems that may form an impassable
thicket. Height: 5-40'.
- Habitat: Wet woods,
- Range: Eastern and
midwestern United States, Native,
but often cultivated.
||Plantae -- Plants
Spermatophyta – Seed plants
||Ericaceae – Heath family
macrophyllum D. Don ex
G. Don – Pacific