The Rhododendron genus can be found in many different habitats around the world but scarce in desserts, and dry forests as well as tundra regions. . Rhododendrons are studied from the xylem to the leaves, but we believe the secret is in the roots. Kong et al., found two different dimensions of root trait diameter across 96 subtropical woody species: a diameter related dimension that may integrate root construction, and possibly maintenance and persistence, with a branching density dimension that may express difference in root plastic responses to environment. We would like to address the question of what really goes on in the roots and if the anatomy and morphology of the roots are connected to the temperature tolerance of different rhododendron species. We also believe that Rhododendron with similar cold tolerances have similar fungi on their roots. The study site was the Helen S. Layer Rhododendron garden at Holden Arboretum. We studied the morphology, anatomy of six species of Rhododendron from three sections: Ponticum section (Maximum, Degronianum), Pentanthera section (Austrinum, Molle), and Tsutsuti (Yedoense, Indicum).
Dr. Juliana Medeiros