This is one of the finest big leaved Rhododendrons for sheltered gardens. Huge yellow flowers often blotched purple with bright red stigma in trusses of up to 30 flowers flowering in April. The huge shiny leaves (up to 38cm long x 20cm across) have a wonderful thick woolly fawn indumentum on the underside. It has distinctive silvery young growth with lovely bright red bud scales. Probably one of the easiest to grow out of all the big leaf species. Height 150cm in 10 years.
Named after Mr McCabe, a former Deputy Commissioner, Naga Hills, NE India.
Big leaf Rhododendron species have great architectural foliage which looks stunning in a woodland glade or city courtyard garden. However, the lovely large leaves do need protection from winds, especially cold winds, to prevent them being marked or damaged. Strong winds can even snap off these big leaves at the petiole (leaf stalk) or midrib and ruin the plant. Carefully choose a sheltered, moist but well drained position, and you'll grow a fantastic foliage plant with the bonus of wonderful flowers after 6 to 10 years.
- Recommended for outstanding architectual foliage.
- Plantsman range.
- Ideal position: Sheltered woodland or shaded courtyards, avoiding cold winds.
- Habit: tree-like.
- Group: Species Rhododendron.
- Subsection: Grandia.
- Introduction date: pre 1950 (1927).
- Species distribution: Manipur, Assam, Nagaland.
- Approximate altitude: 2,450 to 3,800m.
- Ideal soil: pH 4.5 to 6.5.
- RHS Hardiness Rating: H5.
- How we usually propagate this plant: Seed.
- Awards: RHS Award of Garden Merit.