Sweet Azalea 3gal

Sweet Azalea 3gal

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Rhododendron arborescens, commonly known as sweet azalea (fragrant flowers), smooth azalea (glabrous twigs and leaves) or tree azalea (occasional tree-like height), is an upright, loosely-branched deciduous shrub that typically matures to 8-12’ (occasionally to 20’) tall. It features smooth, elliptic to obovate, often blunt-tipped, dark green leaves (1-3” long) with whitened undersides. Leaves turn red to purple in fall. Fragrant, sticky-hairy, funnel-shaped, white (occasionally pale pink) flowers (to 2” across) bloom in clusters of 3-6 from late May to July after the leaves have appeared. Each white flower contains a red style and exserted dark pink to red stamens which protrude beyond the mouth of the tubular corolla. This azalea is native to areas along streams on woodland slopes and moist shrubby balds in the Appalachian Mountains from southern Pennsylvania and eastern Kentucky to Georgia and Alabama. It is also sometimes found near bogs and swampy woodland areas. Fruits are narrow, egg-shaped capsules (to 3/4” long).

Genus name comes from the Greek words rhodo meaning rose and dendron meaning tree. Transferred from the Greek name for Nerium oleander.

Specific epithet comes from Latin meaning more or less treelike.