Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld


Vireya Rhododendrons

The "tropical" rhododendrons

Family: Ericaceae

Most of the Rhododendrons you'll see in northern hemisphere garden books are shrubs of cool climates. They aren't suitable for gardens in most of Queensland (unless you count the Azaleas). The Vireya group of Rhododendrons come from warm regions of the world, although usually the cooler mountain habitats. Australia even has a native Vireya, R. lochiae (Some authorities believe the Australian Vireyas should be divided between two species).

Plant breeders have a done a lot of work to expand the range of cultivars available. A notable feature is their amenability to container culture (many grow as epiphytes in nature).

More Online Information

The following are for general information, research and ideas - some species or cultivars referred to in links may be unavailable in Australia or unsuitable for Queensland conditions

Rhododendron lochiae Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants (ASGAP)
Rhododendron and Azalea News Vol. 7, No.3 Includes some information on root-pruning of pot-bound Vireyas
Caring for my Vireya Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture
Vireya notes about these plants in Hawaii. Pana`ewa Rainforest Zoo, Hawaii
Rhododendrons in Hawaii American Rhododendron Society Massachusetts Chapter

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