There are numerous advertising and sponsorship opportunities available on Inside Ecology. Injection of herbicide into individual plants has been found to be more precise and effective.[11]. Disposal through production of biochar. It is particularly problematic in Britain, where plants are self-sowing aggressively in woodlands, often out-competing native trees by filling the understorey and preventing natural regeneration. Rhododendron ponticum is readily recognised by its distinctive attractive flowers and large dark green coloured, oval leaves. Introduction to Britain. Rhododendron ponticum has often been cultivated outside its native range as an ornamental and, in many areas of Europe, it has escaped from cultivation and become naturalized. On the small island of Lundy, Devon, UK, 105 days work and £26,880 is required per year to clear R. ponticum from cliffs (Compton and Key, 1998). Inside Ecology Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales. It produces abundant seed and also suckers, forming dense thickets. Despite producing an attractive… [3], The range in the Iberian Peninsula is limited to mountain ranges, the Caramulo mountains, the Monchique range and the Aljibe range. A non-native, invasive species. Rhododendron ponticum is a highly invasive species affecting woodland in the UK.It is also a host to two particularly significant diseases affecting our woodlands - Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae.To control their spread, the eradication of rhododendron, usually by cutting and removal, is an accepted management practice. She can be contacted via email: liz (at) ecological-services.co.uk. As part of the role she manages the ecological works for a multi-phase development. Description: This species was first introduced to parks, gardens, and demesnes in Britain and Ireland in the 1700’s. The roots readily send up suckers from below the graft, often allowing it to overtake the intended grafted rhododendron. Scottish Natural Heritage Research Report No. The wood is hard and light brown, with a rough bark. Rhododendron ponticum is a serious invasive weed. ... Rhododendron ponticum has a reputation as an aggressive invader in temperate Atlantic areas (Mejias et al ., 2002). Milne, R. I., & Abbott, R. J. Copyright © Inside Ecology Ltd 2020 - All rights reserved. Conservation organisations in Britain now believe R. ponticum has become "a severe problem" in the native Atlantic oakwoods of the west highlands of Scotland and in Wales, and on heathlands in southern England, crowding out the native flora. [7], In some parts of the world, a controlled dosage of the honey can be taken to induce hallucinations for spiritual or psychological purposes. Rhododendron ponticum is an established non-native invasive species within the UK, threatening a variety of natural and semi-natural habitats and the associated flora and fauna. Rhododendron ponticum, called common rhododendron or pontic rhododendron, is a species of Rhododendron native to the Iberian Peninsula in southwest Europe and the Caucasus region in northern West Asia. Many different species of Rhododendron have been introduced into the UK but to date only one of these, Rhododendron ponticum, has become invasive. A study[12] in the journal Functional Ecology also showed that invasive rhododendron nectar was toxic to European honeybees (Apis mellifera), killing individuals within hours of consumption. They also used Rhododendron ponticumas a rootstock for grafting scions from less hardy but … Inside Ecology Ltd will use the information you provide on the sign-up form below to send you our occasional Newsletter. Frape D; Ward A, 1993. Paul Simons. Forestry Commission Bulletin 73: 1-7. Operator knowledge of the machinery and habitat is key to ensure the heavy machinery does not compact valuable forest flora and fauna. For the BSR of Turkey, branch layering is the primary means of invasion by R. ponticum; this Abstract The biology of Rhododendron ponticum is discussed in relation to its success as an invasive species in a diversity of habitats in Snowdonia (Wales), and its distribution in the region is outlined. The fruit is a dry capsule 1.5 to 2.5 cm (0.59 to 0.98 in) long, containing numerous small seeds. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 9. ponticum, with a number of varieties recorded (Terzioglu et al., 2001). Rhododendron ponticum as a “high risk” invasive species. The results of the first 3 years of a control and management programme are described. Mechanical control: heavy machinery with long hydraulic arms are best for digging up the root material and crushing branches. It is listed under Schedule 9 of the Act and Section 14 of the Act states that it is an offence to plant or otherwise cause the species to grow in the wild. First introduced for ornamental horticulture in 1763, it was recorded in the wild in the UK as early as 1894, and was subsequently planted for both its own merit and as a stock for grafting. [citation needed] It was introduced to Britain as an ornamental shrub in 1763, and later planted as cover for game birds. 6 If there is an earlier Risk Assessment is it still entirely valid, or only partly valid? It was introduced to Ireland during the 18th Century as an ornamental garden plant because of its attractive flowers. MORE, Contact us – Email info (at) insideecology.com. What will this achieve. Find help & information on Rhododendron ponticum Pontica rhododendron from the RHS Search. Identification [citation needed], It was noted by the botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort during his travels in the Near East in 1700–02, and so received its name from Linnaeus to identify the ancient kingdom on the south shores of the Black Sea, Pontus, in which it grew. Chemical control: spray cut stems with chemicals, although surrounding vegetation may be affected by this. The plants were first grown in Britain in the 1760s, supplied by Conrad Loddiges, and became widely distributed through the commercial nursery trade in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Rhododendron, also known as ponticum, is an invasive non-native shrub which has quickly infested forests throughout the United Kingdom. [citation needed], Fossil evidence shows it had a much wider range across most of southern and western Europe before the Late Glacial Maximum, or until about 20,000 years ago. 1157. Current methods of management and disposal for R.ponticum include the following: Once R.ponticum has been removed from an area, a study by Maclean et al (2017) has shown that understorey plant community composition does not return to the state pre-invasion, even decades after the removal of R.ponticum. Legislation Gritten RH, 1995. This Option is for the targeted control of five invasive non-native species Rhododendron ponticum, Giant hogweed, Himalayan balsam, Japanese knotweed, and Grey Squirrels. (Cabi.org, 2017). R.ponticum was first introduced to the UK via Gibraltar in 1763 and by 1893 it was being sold on London markets as a flowering pot plant. It has also been introduced to Madeira, India, Belgium, England, France and Ireland. About the Author: Elizabeth Kimber works for an ecological consultancy based in Dorset (Lindsay Carrington Ecological Services Ltd). It is suggested that restoration should focus on aiding the arrival of forbs and grasses under these circumstances, rather than altering the condition of the soil. 15-28. Suckering of the root, together with its abundant seed production, has led to it becoming an invasive species over much of western Europe and in parts of New Zealand. In contrast the buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) was not affected by the rhododendron nectar. Rhododendron ponticum was introduced to the British Isles as an ornamental plant from mainland Europe in the eighteenth century. The genus Rhododendron is the largest in the Ericaceae family with 1200 species. Rhododendron ponticum, native to southern Europe and south west Asia was introduced into the UK in the 18th Century. [8], Suckering of the root, together with its abundant seed production, has led to it becoming an invasive species over much of western Europe and in parts of New Zealand. Suspected rhododendron poisoning in dogs. Tabbush, P.M. & Williamson, D.R. & Read D.J., 1988, Aspects of the ecology of Rhododendron ponticum with reference to its competitive and invasive properties. 16: 327-335. ponticum", "Infraspecific Taxon Details : Rhododendron ponticum var. The leaves are evergreen, 6 to 18 cm (2.4 to 7.1 in) long and 2 to 5 cm (0.79 to 1.97 in) wide. Rhododendron ponticum is native to countries in the western and eastern Mediterranean such as Spain, Portugal and Turkey and also occurs eastwards through Asia into China.It is not native to Britain, but was first introduced in the late 18th Century. Clearance strategie… “The economic impact of eradicating R. ponticum in a local area can run to many millions. Registered office: Stanley House, 49 Dartford Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3TE. It was originally introduced by Conrad Loddiges as seed in 1763 to be used as a cultivated flowering plant in gardens, parks, and estates as a horticultural exhibit, but was also extensively planted in western Victorian hunting Estates under woodland canopies and on heathland areas to provide shelter for game species. Schedule 9 of the Act and Section … You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of the Newsletter. R.ponticum is a large shrub which can grow up to 8 metres tall, with an irregular base. "Infraspecific Taxon Details : Rhododendron ponticum subsp. Mechanical clearance must be followed by repeated herbicide applications for at least two years to prevent re-sprouting and recolonisation (forestry.gov.uk, 2017). Its native range is across Turkey, Lebanon, Bulgaria, the Caucasus, Spain and Portugal. [5], Though it was in Great Britain before the last Ice Age, it did not recolonise afterwards and the modern ecology of the island developed without it. [9] ponticum: of Pontus, NE Turkey. Impact R. ponticum is a dense, suckering shrub or small tree growing to 5 m (16 ft) tall, rarely 8 m (26 ft). In the fourth article of the series, Elizabeth Kimber (Ecologist), focuses on Rhododendron ponticum…. This page was last edited on 21 November 2020, at 15:59. Rhododendron ponticum is the most naturalised and familiar of Ireland's land based invasive plants. It also paralyzed bees of the species Andrena carantonica, a solitary mining bee. The cost of clearing the weed in Snowdonia National Park, Wales, UK has been estimated at over £30 million (Mabberley, 1998). It can spread to fill the space which is available to it, either remaining as a small shrub, or, if light conditions and other resources allow, outcompeting and displacing all other vegetation and local fauna. Such areas include Nepal. It can grow quite tall with specimens regularly attaining 8 m. This could be achieved by on-site charcoal production using modern portable reactors to reach optimum conditions. Company number: 08260167. This report, or any part of it, should not be reproduced without the permission of Scottish Natural Heritage. However, given that the species spreads by seeding, gardeners also bear some responsibility, especially where their plants are in wind-swept areas. Rhododendron ponticum (L.) is a non-indigenous evergreen shrub belonging to the Ericaceae family. 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