R. macrophyllum (The White Form)
Fig. 47. R. macrophyllum near Mt. Hood
Photo Oregon State Highway Commission
Fig. 48. R. macrophyllum (White Form)
photo Oregon State Highway Commission
About fifteen years ago, while vacationing at Mercer Lake near Florence on the Oregon coast, I found a plant of the white form of our native R. macrophyllum. It was in full bloom in quite dense shade although the pink form of this rhododendron had been out of bloom for some weeks. The plant was about three feet tall and had at least a four foot spread.
We dug the plant and moved it to our home, where it has grown and bloomed well each year. It seems to be slower growing than the pink form and is now about six feet tall. The leaves are smaller, and it consistently blooms from two to three weeks later than the pink type. It seems to us that the flowers may be somewhat smaller but trusses are very full. The flowers are pure white with a thin line of pink edging.
We think the plant very attractive and well worth growing. While the white form is not very common we hear of it occasionally being found along the coast and in our mountains. My brother-in-law, who spent his boyhood on a farm in the Coos Bay area recalls that fifty years ago the white form was numerous along the coast and that he often dug and burned them in clearing land.