Native Azaleas

      Click on the Azalea's name in the table below for a description and picture.

Common name: Specific name: Fragrant: Color: Local Bloom Time:
Alabama Azalea Rhododendron alabamense Yes White, often w/Yellow blotch Mid May
Sweet Azalea Rhododendron arborescens Yes White with red stamens May-June, July-Aug
Coast Azalea Rhododendron atlanticum Yes White, often with Pink Blush Mid May
Coast Az. Hybrids Rhodo. atl. x(austrinum) Yes Variable, light Yellow Mid May
Florida Flame Azalea Rhododendron austrinum Yes Yellow to Yellow-Orange Late April-Early May
Flame Azalea Rhodo. calendulaceum No Gold, Orange, Deep Orange Mid May-June
Southern Pinxterbloom Rhododendron canescens Yes Pink to White w/Pink tube Early-Mid May
Cumberland Azalea Rhodo. cumberlandense No Orange to Deep Orange-Red Mid June-Early July
Oconee Az. hybrids Rhododendron flammeum X Some Yellow-Deep Oranges, Pinks Early to Mid May
Pinxterbloom Azalea Rhodo. periclymenoides Some Pink to, rare white, lavender Early-Mid May
Roseshell Azalea Rhododendron prinophyllum Yes Medium to Deep Pink Mid May
Plumleaf Azalea Rhododendron prunifolium No Deep Orange to Red Late July - August
Pinkshell Azalea Rhododendron vaseyi No Pink-Rose or near white Late April - Early May
Swamp Azalea Rhododendron viscosum Yes White Mid June-July
Hummocksweet R. viscosum. v. Serrulatum Yes White July - September

Alabama Azalea, Rhododendron alabamense

      Appearing with the new leaves and blooming here in mid May, the white flowers often have a yellow blotch. Their fragrance is a sweet scent with citrus or lemon notes. Michael Dirr calls it "possibly the most fragrant of the native azaleas". Plants may be spreading and tend to be compact and horizontal. Ht. 5-6 ft. (Sun - partial shade)

Alabama Azalea image

            Back to top             More pictures

Sweet or Smooth Azalea, Rhododendron arborescens

Sweet Azalea image

      Large, very fragrant white flowers with red stamens typically open in mid to late June. (Certain populations bloom in mid May or July to late August. Glossy foliage often develops good burgundy fall color. Despite its "tree-like" Latin name, it is often short and spreading in full sun. Acidic soil. Ht. 2-6' (Sun - partial shade)

            Back to top

Coast Azalea, Rhododendron atlanticum

      Very fragrant white flowers, often with a pink blush along the petals and tube, bloom in mid May amidst small blue-toned leaves. A rather compact grower that is sometimes stoloniferous. Native to the eastern coastal plain. Acid soil. Ht. 3-6'. (Sun - partial shade)

Coast Azalea image

            Back to top             More pictures

Coast Azalea hybrids, Rhododendron atlanticum X austrinium

      Fragrant flowers in variable light yellow shades, blooming in mid May.

            Back to top

Florida Flame or Mayflower Azalea, Rhododendron austrinum

      Fragrant yellow flowers, often with red corolla tubes, burst from their big fuzzy buds to announce spring in early May. A vigorous, undemanding azalea, it grows quickly, rounding out at about 6' in full sun and becoming taller and upright in the shade. Hardy to zone 6. Ht. 6-7'. (Sun - partial shade)

Florida Flame Azalea image

            More pictures

            Back to top

Flame Azalea, Rhododendron calendulaceum

Flame Azalea image

      "Certainly the most gay and brilliant flowering shrub yet known" - William Bartram. Spectacular, with large yellow-gold to orange flowers, blooming in mid May to mid June. Upright habit, with clean foliage. Butterfly pollinated. Acidic soil. Ht. 5-6'+. (Sun - partial shade)

            Back to top

Piedmont Azalea, Rhododendron canescens

      Also know as the Southern Pinxterbloom Azalea, this species has clusters of small, fragrant white to pink flowers, typically with darker tubes, which bloom in early to mid May. Another southerner, it can be stoloniferous and tends to grow quickly when young. Ht. 4-6'+. (Sun - partial shade)

Southern Pinxterbloom Azalea image

            Back to top

Cumberland Azalea, Rhododendron cumberlandense

Cumberland Azalea image

      Spectacular, with orange to deep orange blooms that announce the summer solstice, blooming in mid to late June against a backdrop of mature dark green foliage. Horizontal, spreading habit, often with burgundy fall foliage. A star in the garden. Acidic soil. Ht. 4-6 ft. (Sun - partial shade)

            More pictures             Back to top

Oconee Azalea hybrids, Rhododendron flammeum X

      Flowers of the species range from yellow through orange to red, hybrids include shades of pink, coral and salmon, blooming around mid May. Oconee azaleas tend to take a rounded form, with hybrids often growing larger and more quickly. Ht.5'+. (Sun - partial shade)

Oconee Azalea image

            More pictures             Back to top

Pinxterbloom Azalea, Rhododendron periclymenoides (R. nudiflorum)

Pinxterbloom Azalea image

      A widespread favorite with sometimes fragrant pink (ranging to white and lavender) flowers, blooming in early to mid May. Pollinated by hawkmoths, butterflies and migrating hummingbirds. Sometimes stoloniferous, it generally forms a full to upright rounded shrub. Ht. 3-6'+. (Sun - partial shade)

            More pictures             Back to top

Roseshell Azalea, Rhododendron prinophyllum

      Medium to deep pink flowers have a sweet and spicy fragrance in mid May. Bright green foliage bronzes in fall. A choice plant, it tends to be a very slow grower, and thus uneconomical for nursery production. Found only at higher elevations in the more southern parts of it's range, it can tolerate a more basic soil than other species. Ht. 2-6'+. (Sun - partial shade)

Roseshell Azalea image

            More pictures             Back to top

Plumleaf Azalea, Rhododendron prunifolium

Plumleaf Azalea image

      Our latest-flowering colorful native azalea has blooms that range from coral-orange through orange to near-red during July and August, against a background of mature dark green foliage. Tends to bloom best in partial shade, with some protection from late summer droughts. Ht. 4-6'+. (Sun - partial shade)

            Back to top

Pinkshell Azalea, Rhododendron vaseyi

      The pinkshell azalea is the most highly rated for its bloom of large shell-pink blossoms. Flowers can range from near-white to deep rose-pink and tend to bloom before the leaves emerge in early May. In the wild it is only found in six counties in the mountains of NC, but it makes an excellent garden plant with a full or vaselike habit, and good burgundy fall color.      Ht. 5-6'+. (Sun - partial shade)

Pinkshell Azalea image

            Back to top             More pictures

Swamp Azalea, Rhododendron viscosum

Swamp Azalea image

      Abundant small, fragrant white flowers add their enchanting scent to the summer air. Small, shiny leaves, often develop burgundy fall color. A widespread species which is variable in habit and bloom time, it most often forms an upright plant and blooms from mid June through July. Tolerates moist soils but should be kept several inches above the water line. Ht. 4-6'+. (Sun - partial shade)

            Back to top

Hummocksweet, Rhododendron viscosum v. Serrulatum

      A southern variety of the swamp azalea, Hummocksweet is adapted to a longer growing season and blooms particularly late in the year. Most of the delicate white blooms come in late July through September, but some plants extend their bloom into November. Leaves remain late on this azalea yeilding good red-burgundy fall color in many plants. Mostly a quick, upright grower. Tolerates moist soils. Ht. 6-8'+. (Sun - partial shade)

Hummocksweet image

            More pictures             Back to top

    Previous         Home        Next