Rhododendron subg. Rhododendron
Rhododendron ferrugineum
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Rhododendron
Subgenus: Rhododendron subg. Rhododendron
Type species
Rhododendron ferrugineum

See text

Rhododendron hirsutum
A species of the Vireya section.

Rhododendron subgenus Rhododendron is a subgenus of the genus Rhododendron. With around 400 species, it is the largest of the eight subgenera (more recently reduced to five)[1] containing nearly half of all known species of Rhododendron and all of the lepidote (scales on the underside of the leaves) species.[1][2]


Main article: List of Sections in Subgenus Rhododendron

The subgenus has traditionally included three sections:

However, following phylogenetic analysis, Craven (2008) raised the appropriately named Pseudovireya subsection of Vireya to section rank, splitting it into two geographic clades, the Asian mainland species as Pseudovireya, and the Malesian species as Discovireya, making five sections in all.[4] The new sections are thus:

Characteristics: (Craven 2008)

Craven also provides a formal Key to the subgenus.



  1. ^ a b Goetsch, Loretta A.; Eckert, Andrew J.; Hall, Benjamin D. (July–September 2005). "The molecular systematics of Rhododendron (Ericaceae): a phylogeny based upon RPB2 gene sequences". Systematic Botany. 30 (3): 616–626. doi:10.1600/0363644054782170. S2CID 51949019.
  2. ^ Chamberlain, DF; Hyam R; Argent G; Fairweather G; Walter KS (1996). The genus Rhododendron: its classification and synonymy. Royal Botanic gardens Edinburgh. ISBN 1-872291-66-X. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  3. ^ Argent, G. Rhododendrons of subgenus Vireya. 2006. Royal Horticultural Society. ISBN 1-902896-61-0
  4. ^ Craven, L.A.; Goetsch, L.A.; Hall, B.D.; Brown, G.K. (2008). "Classification of the Vireya group of Rhododendron (Ericaceae)". Blumea - Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants. 53 (2): 435. doi:10.3767/000651908X608070.