Rhododendron ponticum is a hardy evergreen with a dense canopy which is native to southern Europe and southwestern Asia which was introduced to Britain around 1763.
Rhodies can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, but thrive in areas with acidic soils and high humidity (like the conditions we have here on Knoydart!).
Knoydart Rhodie Invasion
Rhododendrons including ponticum were introduced in Inverie by the Victorians and planted in the Policy Woods around the big houses. By the time of the community buy out in 1999, the lower half of Inverie woods was dominated by Rhodies – many areas were so dense that it was impossible to get through unless by crawling or climbing through the canopy. The forest floor in these areas was brown and dead. Rhodies were also creeping out into open ground in the glens.
"Today Rhododendron ponticum is regarded as the most damaging and most widespread alien plant in semi-natural terrestrial habitats in the UK”*
Reasons why the rhodies loved by the Victorians and admired for their luscious pink blooms have become such a huge problem - they :
Filling out a report form
Description of where it was found
Useful information you could include:
Including a picture
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words (or, ideally in this case, a thousand words and a precise GPS location).
If you are unable to include location data with pictures it isn’t a problem, a picture is still useful in helping us familiarise ourselves with the area the bush was found.
A quick guide on how to save location data with your pictures can be found here.