skip navigation

Photo courtesy: Dani Nicosia

Blooming Biodiversity: ACSC pays homage to the vital role of Catawba Rhododendron with the 2024 Away Kit

By Tim Blekicki, 05/06/24, 11:15AM HST


Photo courtesy: Dani Nicosia

The Catawba rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense) has a rich biological history intertwined with the rugged landscapes of western North Carolina. The rhododendron's prevalence in this area can be attributed to factors such as its ability to withstand harsh winters, its preference for higher elevations, and its mutualistic relationships with local pollinators.


Native to this region, the Catawba rhododendron serves as a vital pollinator attractant, essential for maintaining the ecosystem's balance. Its vibrant purple-pink blooms, adorning the late spring and early summer, act as a crucial food source for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. These pollinators, in turn, ensure the plant's reproduction by transferring pollen between flowers, fostering genetic diversity within the species. The diverse array of pollinators in western North Carolina not only sustains the Catawba rhododendron but also supports the reproduction of other native plants, contributing to the region's unparalleled biodiversity.

In a nod to pollination, Asheville City features it on their 2024 Away kit. Witness it firsthand when the Women's team heads to Greenville on May 10 to face the Liberty. For further insight into preserving Asheville's biodiversity, explore