Alpine meadows, alpine woodlands
May - September
Rhododendron myrtifolium is a compact evergreen that is primarily native to the Carpathian and Balkan mountains. It is a creeping shrub that typically grows to only 1,5 m tall but spreads to 2,5 m or more wide. Small, evergreen, shiny dark green leaves (to 3 cm long) are elliptic to oblanceolate. Leaves turn bronze red in winter. Leaves are scaleless above, but have dense scales (lepidote) on leaf undersides. Tubular, rose to purple-pink flowers in clusters of 3-7 bloom from beginning to mid season (May to June). Genus name comes from the Greek words rhodo meaning rose and dendron meaning tree. Transferred from the Greek name for Nerium oleander. Specific epithet is in reference to the myrtle-like leaves of this rhododendron.