A member of the Big Leaf rhododendrons, R. rex ssp. rex is one of the most attractive for both leaf and flower. Most often grown in collections for its lovely foliage, R. rex ssp. rex has large, smooth dark-green leaves with the undersides covered with a smooth, cinnamon colored indumentum. This indumentum is composed of flattened micorscopic hair that appears smooth to the naked eye. Very attractive if planted above on a knoll so one can see the undersides of the leaves. The flowers are fairly large and open from large pink buds, but shortly fade to white with a rose blush on the edges. The throat is a dark cherry-red with spotting. Flowering takes longer with the Big Leaf species, so one will have to be patient.