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“Rhododendrons are known for their beauty but this giant really is a magnificent tree. Although it appears there are very few left in the wild, the good news is that they are in a nature reserve and the staff there are keen to protect and restore the species.
The Global Trees Campaign is helping them to do so – identifying why the species is not reproducing successfully and building on local pride in the tree to improve its protection.”
FFI Global Trees Campaign
The largest rhododendron in the world, hence the name, is the big tree rhododendron.
Its size and beauty have contributed to its downfall and the number of trees left in the wild is unknown but could be anywhere from 100 to 1400.
One of the threats to it is over-harvesting of seeds for use in ornamental gardens around the world and also habitat loss and fragmentation.
The Global Trees Campaign, in partnership with Kunming Institute of Botany and local nature reserve staff, has begun work to improve understanding of the ecology of the species, how to protect it and how to promote its regeneration.
The Global Trees Campaign is working on a Red List of Rhododendrons. Nearly half of the world’s 1,000 wild types of rhododendron are found in China.