Biodiv Sci ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (9): 1175-1180.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021152

• Data Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A dataset on wild Rhododendron and geographical distribution information in China

Jiejie Cheng, Meijun Li, Taohua Yuan, Hong Huang, Guili Yang, Xinxiang Bai()   

  1. College of Forestry, Guizhou University, Guizhou 550025
  • Received:2021-04-22 Accepted:2021-09-03 Online:2021-09-20 Published:2021-09-16
  • Contact: Xinxiang Bai


The genus Rhododendron is widely distributed, lives in diverse habitats, and its group structure is complex. An in-depth analysis of its geographical distribution pattern and characteristics can provide a basis for conservation and utilization of germplasm. Based on current literature and data, this paper updates the list of species of wild Rhododendron distributed in China, explores species composition, and establishes a geographical distribution database of wild Rhododendron in China. As of July 2021, 720 species (including 114 varieties, 45 subspecies and 2 forms) of 7 subgenera have been recorded, of which 450 are endemic to China. The genus Rhododendron is distributed in all provinces of China except the arid desert areas of Ningxia and Xinjiang. Over half of all Rhododendron (393) species are distributed in the Yunnan Province, which is the highest species richness and endemism at the provincial level. There are 278 species in Sichuan province and 271 species in Tibet Autonomous Region. At the county level, Gongshan and Zayul counties are tied for having the most species of Rhododendron at 134 species, followed by 128 species in Deqin County. This study revised and updated the list of wild Rhododendron plants and their geographical distribution in China in order to provide reference for germplasm investigation and application research.

Key words: Rhododendron, species diversity, endemic species, geographic distribution