General aspect and origins - Rhododendron 'Sir Charles Lemon' is certainly a cross between R. arboreum ssp. cinnamomeum × R. campanulatum ssp. campanulatum.It is often considered as a R. arboreum variety, but it is an interspecific hybrid, R. arboreum being the likely motherplant.This hybrid was grown by Sir Charles Lemon from seeds previously collected by Joseph Hooker, during a trip in India, from 1849 to 1851. This evergreen shrub or small tree can reach up to 20 ft (6 m) tall and more. It has a less conical shape than that of R.arboreum.'Sir Charles Lemon' is relatively widely grown.
Leaves - Leaves of 'Sir Charles Lemon' are evergreen, larger than these of R. arboreum. The lower side of the leaves is brown-green. Young leaves are white-green.
Flowers - 'Sir Charles Lemon' has conical flower buds, unlike those of R.arboreum, which are almost globose. Flowers are campanulate and white, with some violet traces.