Cinnamon Rhododendron Rhododendron arboreum subsp. cinnamomeum

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
cinnamon-coloured tree-like rhododendron


Rhododendron arboreum subsp. cinnamomeum, commonly known as the cinnamon sub-species of the tree rhododendron, showcases a magnificent display of floral and foliar beauty. The leaves on this evergreen exhibit a glossy dark green color on the top with a unique cinnamon-brown felted texture beneath, adding a distinctive contrast that catches the eye. These leaves are elongate, with a leathery texture that gives them a robust and enduring appearance. The plant is celebrated for its blossoms that burst into a riot of color during the flowering season. The flowers are typically bell-shaped and grow in rounded trusses. The color palette of the blooms varies from shades of pink to red, creating a striking visual against the dark green foliage. The blooms, when viewed closely, may exhibit intricate spotting or variations in hue toward their throats, a detail that adds to their ornamental charm. The cinnamon sub-species of the tree rhododendron is also noted for its bark, which takes on a smooth, sometimes flaking texture. Over time, the bark can develop into a rich mosaic of shades, reflecting the plant's maturity and adding to the overall aesthetic. Overall, this plant exudes a stately and lush persona, with each aspect contributing to its overall splendor without the need to reference its impressive stature.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      No common names available.

    • Common names

      Rhododendron arboreum var. nilagiricum, Rhododendron arboreum var. roseum, Rhododendron arboretum, Rhododendron cinnamomeum, Rhododendron puniceum, Rhododendron windsorii.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Rhododendron, particularly Rhododendron arboreum subsp. cinnamomeum, is known to be toxic to humans. All parts of the plant contain harmful substances called grayanotoxins. If ingested, these toxins can cause a range of symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, difficulty in breathing, lethargy, weakness, abdominal pain, and can lead to a significant drop in blood pressure, coma, and potentially death if a large quantity is consumed. The severity of the symptoms can vary based on the amount ingested and the sensitivity of the individual. It is advised to avoid consuming any part of this plant.

    • To pets

      Rhododendron also poses a threat to pets due to its toxicity. In animals, even small amounts of the plant can be highly toxic. Symptoms of rhododendron poisoning in pets include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, abnormal heart rate, tremors, seizure, and potentially coma. The most serious consequence could be death, especially if timely veterinary treatment is not received. Pet owners should prevent their animals from having access to any part of the rhododendron plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      20 feet (6 meters)

    • Spread

      10 feet (3 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Rhododendron arboreum subsp. cinnamomeum, commonly known as Burans, adds aesthetic appeal to gardens and parks with its vibrant red flowers and evergreen foliage.
    • Habitat for Wildlife: The plant provides shelter and nesting sites for various bird species, as well as a food source for nectar-feeding insects and animals.
    • Erosion Control: Its extensive root system helps stabilize slopes and prevent soil erosion in hilly terrains where it naturally grows.
    • Shade Provider: With its large size, Burans can offer considerable shade, creating a cooler microclimate which is beneficial in landscaped areas.
    • Cultural and Religious Importance: In various cultures within its native range, the plant holds significant cultural and religious value during festivals and ceremonies.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Rhododendron arboreum subsp. cinnamomeum has been traditionally used to reduce inflammation.
    • Analgesic: It may have pain-relieving properties.
    • Antidiabetic: There is some evidence to suggest that it might help regulate blood sugar levels.
    • Cardioprotective: Compounds in this plant could potentially protect heart tissue.
    • Healing of Gastrointestinal Ailments: Used in traditional medicine to treat stomach issues.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Honey Production: Rhododendron arboreum flowers can be a source of nectar for bees, which produce a distinctive and potentially toxic honey known as "mad honey," historically used for its hallucinogenic properties.
    • Landscape Ornamental: Due to its striking flowers and structural form, the plant is often used in gardens and parks for ornamental purposes.
    • Tannin Source: The bark of the plant contains tannins that can be used in the tanning of leather.
    • Ink and Dye: The plant parts, like the flowers and bark, have been traditionally used to make natural dyes and inks for fabrics and artworks.
    • Tool Handles: The wood is hard and durable, making it suitable for crafting tool handles and other implements requiring strength.
    • Woodturning: Because of its fine grain, the timber is used in woodturning for making decorative items.
    • Sacred Use: In some cultures, the tree is considered sacred and used in religious and ceremonial offerings.
    • Food Wrapping: The large size of the leaves makes them suitable for wrapping food items in some traditional practices.
    • Insulation Material: The leaves are sometimes incorporated into the construction of huts for insulation due to their size and thickness.
    • Musical Instruments: The wood may be used in the construction of certain types of traditional musical instruments.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Rhododendron is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Rhododendron is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Beauty and Elegance: The Rhododendron is known for its vibrant flowers and stately appearance, making it a symbol of beauty and elegance in the plant world.
    • Beware and Caution: Some species of Rhododendron contain toxic substances, and hence, the plant can represent caution or danger.
    • Rejuvenation and Vitality: As a plant that blooms vibrantly, it is often associated with spring and thus symbolizes new beginnings and the rejuvenation of nature.
    • Wealth and Abundance: In certain cultures, due to its full, rich blooms, the Rhododendron can represent prosperity and wealth.
    • Survival and Adaptation: Rhododendrons are hardy plants that can thrive in various conditions, symbolizing the ability to endure and adapt to life’s challenges.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Early Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Himalayan Rhododendron requires consistent moisture but should not be overwatered to prevent root rot. It is best to water this rhododendron species deeply once per week during the growing season, ensuring that it receives about one inch of water each time. During periods of extreme heat or drought, the frequency may be increased to twice a week. During the dormant winter season, reduce watering but do not allow the soil to completely dry out. Always check the soil moisture level to ensure it is damp but not waterlogged.

  • sunLight

    The Himalayan Rhododendron prefers partial shade with filtered sunlight or a spot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. The ideal location would be under the canopy of tall trees that provide dappled sunlight, which mimics its natural growing conditions. Direct afternoon sunlight can be too intense and may cause leaf burn, so it's crucial to protect the plant from the harsh midday sun.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Himalayan Rhododendron thrives in cooler climates and can tolerate temperatures down to about 20°F. The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 60°F and 70°F. While it can survive occasional highs up to 80°F, prolonged exposure to temperatures above this range may stress the plant. It is also important to protect the rhododendron from harsh winter winds which can cause damage to the foliage and flowers.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Himalayan Rhododendron is done primarily to remove dead or diseased branches, improve the plant's shape, and encourage bushier growth. It's best to prune just after the blooming period, as pruning too late can remove the next season's flower buds. Deadheading the spent flowers can also encourage a tidier appearance. Pruning should be done yearly to maintain the desired shape and size of the plant.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Himalayan Rhododendron thrives in well-draining, acidic soil with a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. A mix of 50% conifer bark, 30% peat moss, and 20% perlite is ideal, providing both drainage and moisture retention.

  • plantRepotting

    Himalayan Rhododendron should be repotted every 2-3 years, in spring before new growth begins, using a suitable acidic soil mix to accommodate its growing roots.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Himalayan Rhododendron prefers high humidity levels above 50%, which mimic its natural cloud forest habitat, to maintain its health and vibrant blooms.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Himalayan Rhododendron in bright, indirect light, ensure high humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in dappled shade, shelter from wind, acidic soil, mulch well.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Rhododendron arboreum subsp. cinnamomeum, commonly known as the cinnamon rhododendron, begins its life cycle as a seed, typically dispersed by wind. Upon finding suitable acidic, well-drained soil, the seed germinates, often requiring cold stratification to break dormancy. The seedling develops primary leaves and a root system, growing into a juvenile plant. Over several years, the plant matures, developing its characteristic evergreen leaves and woody stems. The cinnamon rhododendron reaches reproductive maturity and produces clusters of pink to red flowers, predominantly in late winter to early spring. After pollination, often by insects, the flowers develop into seed capsules that eventually release seeds to perpetuate the cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Early Summer

    • Rhododendron arboreum subsp. cinnamomeum, commonly known as the cinnamon tree rhododendron, is typically propagated through semi-hardwood cuttings. The most popular method involves taking these cuttings in the late summer when the new growth has matured. The cuttings should be about 4 to 6 inches (approximately 10 to 15 centimeters) long and include several sets of leaves. The lower leaves are removed, and the cut end may be treated with a rooting hormone to facilitate root growth before it is inserted into a moistened mixture of peat and perlite. Cuttings are then kept under high humidity with bottom heat around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (about 21 degrees Celsius) until roots develop, which usually takes several weeks. During this time, it is crucial to maintain a consistent moisture level without causing the cuttings to become waterlogged.