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"Big Leaf" rhododendrons. These are what most people first think of when they hear the word rhododendron. “Elepidote” literally means “without scales,” referring to a characteristic of the familiar large leaf rhododendrons.
The name lepidote literally means “scaly leafed,” as opposed to the other more familiar category, the elepidotes (“leaves without scales”). The scales usually appear to the naked eye as miniscule, usually brownish dots on the undersides of the leaves. As a general rule, the lepidotes appreciate more sun than the elepidotes, are smaller growing, and exhibit much diversity in leaf size and shape.
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