Article Copied from the American Rhododendron Society Blog

Print date: 4/17/2024

Native Azalea Species

6 August 2019 @ 13:54 | Posted by Admin

Native azaleas that you might consider for your own garden:

  • R. canescens, also known as Sweet, Piedmont, or Florida Pinxter Azalea, blooms early in the spring. It is a large shrub, with fragrant, white to dark pink flowers. Hardy in zones 6b to 10a.

  • R. austrinum, the Flordia Azalea, is the first to flower in the spring and is indigenous to northern Florida and the coastal plains to Mississippi. Hardy in zones 6b to 10a.

  • R. canadense, or known as Rhodora, is a very hardy deciduous species native to Maine and eastern Canada. Flowers are rose-purple and have deeply cut petals in delicate trusses. An upright, compact plant with bluish-green leaves. 'Alba' is a white form. Hardy to -25F.

  • R. atlanticum or Coast Azalea forms a multi-stemmed upright plant with very fragrant flowers, white flushed pink or purple. It has bright, bluish-green leaves, hardy to -15F.

  • R. calendulaceum or Flame Azalea, flowers in brilliant shades of orange to red and, sometimes yellow, on an upright vigorous plant. Native to Pennsylvania and Ohio. This is a tetraploid with large-sized flowers, hardy to 25F.

  • R. flammeum called the Oconee Azalea is native to the lower Piedmont region across Georgia to South Carolina. Flowers are yellowish-orange to red. Hardy in zones 6b to 9a.

  • R. periclymenoides, formerly R. nudiflorium, is known as the Honeysuckle or Pinxterbloom Azalea. It is deciduous with unusual pink and white flowers that curve backwards exposing the style and stamens. Native from Massachusetts south to North Carolina. Very hardy to -15F.

  • R. vaseyi is one of the loveliest native azaleas. It is an upright plant with smooth tapering leaves. Also known as Pinkshell Azalea. The flowers range from white to pink, spotted red and bright yellow. The foliage in Fall becomes a great red color. 'White Find' is a choice white-flowered form. Hardy to -15F.

  • R. prinophyllum, formerly R. roseum, also known as Roseshell Azalea, has spicy fragrant flowers. Native from Quebec south through New England, and west to Tennessee, central Arkansas, and eastern Oklahoma. Flowers are pink to purplish pink. Very hardy in zones 4b to 9a.

  • R. viscosum or Swamp Azalea with a spicy fragrance to the flowers, can be pink or white. The flowers are long, slender, tubular, and sticky. This azalea tolerates wet and dry conditions, sun or shade, and offers good fall color. Hardy to -25F.

  • R. prunifolium or the Plumleaf Azalea, is a freely flowering plant with wide tubular-shaped blooms in apricot to orange-red. It like some shade and a moist environment, hardy to -15F.