I came across this Rhododendron at Ness Botanic Gardens on the Wirral. I thought the pattern of the shape of buds and leaves covered with raindrops looked beautiful and would make a good painting. It is painted in watercolour and gouache, I decided to leave the background in pencil to enhance the shape and pattern of the foliage.
Rhododendron moupinense is a species native to Western Sichuan, China, and is named after the district of Moupin. In 1909 E.H. “Chinese” Wilson first introduced it into cultivation. He was a well known English plant collector and introduced about 2000 Asian plant species to the West, sixty bear his name.
Rhododendron is one of the most common evergreen shrubs to have been introduced to Britain. It adapts well to a variety of soils and situations. It can also survive in very shady places under trees. It spreads freely by seed and is difficult to eradicate.
Rhododendron moupinense has rich glossy green leaves and it bears flowers which are pink very early in the spring.