Common rhododendrons in Semper Forest Park, Rügen, Germany
© Sandra Bartocha/Minden Picture
All hail the 'king of shrubs'
Often called the 'king of shrubs,' rhododendrons are prized by gardeners for their glossy green leaves and brightly colored flowers. Depending on the variety, the blooms can emerge anytime from late winter into summer. Either evergreen or deciduous, rhododendrons make up a large and diverse genus of woody plants in the heath family, with over 1,000 wild species and scores of cultivated options. Rhododendrons are native to temperate areas of Asia, North America, and Europe, as well as some tropical parts of Southeast Asia and northern Australia. Our image today captures 'rhodies' in full bloom in March along a path at Semper Forest Park of Rügen, Germany.