Domain - Eukarya
Kingdom - Plantae
Subkingdom - Tracheobionta
Superphylum - Spermatophyta
Phylum - Anthophyta
Class - Dicotyledoneae
Order - Ericales
Family - Ericaceae
Genus - Rhododendron
Species - Rhododendron ponticum

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    This domain includes organisms which possess membrane bound organelles and a true nucleus. Eukaryotes contain a wide variety of organisms such as animals, fungi, and "protists."  


    Plantae includes organisms that are multicellular and contain cellulose in their cell walls. Also, the majority of plants are autotrophic. Many organisms are considered plants including liverworts, mosses, and ginkgo trees.


    The subkingdom Tracheobionta includes vascular plants. Vascular tissue transports water and nutrients throughout the plant. Examples in this subkingdom include Lychophytes (club mosses, spike mosses, quillworts), Pterophytes (ferns, horsetails, whisk ferns), Gymnosperms, and Angiosperms.


©Steve Parker

    This superphylum includes seed plants. Seed plants include both Gymnosperms ("naked seed") and Angiosperms (such as passion fruit).

    Also known as angiosperms, this phylum includes flowering plants. The flowers' ovaries are a very important part of development. First, the development of the seeds takes place inside of the flowers' ovaries, and then the ovaries themselves go through development and turn into the fruit. This includes organisms from rose bushes to calla lillies.

©Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives 

    Dicot flowers have several unifying characteristics. They include having two cotyledons, three pores in the pollen grain, vascular tissues arranged in a circle, taproot systems, netlike arrangement of veins, and flowers in multiples of four or five (tetramerous or pentamerous flowers). Examples of dicots include beans, sunflowers, and buttercups.


    This group is very diverse; therefore, there are not any obvious unifying characteristics for the Ericales. However, most members, including Rhododendron ponticum, have radially symmetric flowers with pedals that are weakly fused together. Also, they have chemicals that are often used for protection from herbivores. Examples of Ericales would be pitcher plants and kiwifruit.

    Ericaceae, also known as the heath family, is also very diverse. Although there are exceptions, the majority of plants classified under Ericaceae, including Rhododendron ponticum, are associated with fungi in their roots and are seriously invasive. An exception to this is the blueberry bush, an edible fruit.


This genus includes evergreen and deciduous shrubs with funnel shaped flowers and elliptic leaves. This genus also includes Azaleas.

Rhododendron ponticum
    Rhododendron comes from the Greek language. 'Rhodos' means 'rose' in English and 'dendron' means 'tree.' The name 'rose tree' seems very appropriate based off of the physical characteristics of Rhododendron ponticum. Rhododendron ponticum has large clusters of colorful flowers and is a woody plant.
‘Pontic’ refers to the type of Greek language, Pontic Greek, spoken in regions on the southern shores of the Black Sea which is where this species is native to.

©Design for unity

     Its common name, Rhododendron, is simply its genus. 

     The image to the left is of a monophyletic tree showing Rhododendron ponticum and its closest relatives. All species are a part of the genus Rhododendron, subgenus Hymenanthes, and subsection Pontica. It is estimated that there are over 1,000 different species of Rhododendron in the world.

      As the tree shows, Rhododendron ponticum is closest related to Rhododendron maximum. Its next closest relative is Rhododendron ungernii.

     The image to the right is also showing a monophyletic tree that helps to show where Rhododendron ponticum is classified. Rhododendron ponticum is under the domain Eukaryote and super-group Archaeplastida.

     In the image displayed, the kingdom Rhododendron ponticum is classified under is circled in green. As explained above, Rhododendron ponticum is a plant.  According to the tree, land plants are most closely related to charaphyceans which is a green algae.

     The image to the left goes into greater detail concerning how the kingdom land plants is broken up. Angiosperm, which Rhododendron ponticum is classified under, is circled and is closest related to the gymnosperms.


Habitat of Rhododendron ponticum