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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - May 04, 2006

From: Durham, NC
Region: California
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Western Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale) for Southern California
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Are there any fragrant varieties of azalea that will grow in Southern California? There are some wonderful native azaleas I found in North Carolina, such as the r. alabamense and r. atlanticum. I have heard that the Western Azalea is fragrant, but as I understand, it only grows in Northern California and Oregon. I'm hoping there is a variety that grows in the drier southern California climate. Thank you!

ANSWER:

The only species of azalea that we know of that will grow in southern California (the San Diego area, for instance) is Western Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale). You can check our National Suppliers Directory for nurseries in the area that specialize in native plants.

 

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