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The secret world of rhododendrons: a plant more ancient than the Himalayas that inspired fables and stories around the world

By Richard Milne, Senior Lecturer in Plant Evolutionary Biology, The University of Edinburgh
If you have a rhododendron in your garden or pass one by on an afternoon walk perhaps you think of it as just a colourful and pretty shrub. You may have heard that they come from the Himalayas, and that they are invasive plants that destroy ecosystems.

Neither of these is quite accurate. Rhododendrons have an ancient legacy older than the Himalayas and a history intertwined with poison, medicine and folklore.

Rhododendrons may be deciduous or evergreen, anything from a tree to a creeping dwarf shrub, with leaves a centimetre to a foot long, and flowers any shade of white,…The Conversation

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