What is the difference between a lepidote and an elepidote?
This is a characteristic used to separate the genus rhododendron into two major groups.
Elepidotes are large leaved rhododendrons. They are the type of shrub that most individuals would associate as being a rhododendron. They do not have scales located on the underside of the leaves. Plants tend to be very large in their maturity.
Lepidote rhododendron have smaller leaves and are usually low growing or dwarfs. They usually bloom earlier in the spring than the larger leaved elepidotes. Tiny scales cover the undersides of the leaves of some rhododendron species.