Rhododendron prinophyllum (Small) Millais
Early azalea, Roseshell azalea, Woolly azalea
Ericaceae (Heath Family)
Synonym(s): Azalea prinophylla, Rhododendron nudiflorum var. roseum, Rhododendron roseum
USDA Symbol: RHPR
Early azalea or roseshell azalea is a 6-12 ft. tall and wide, multi-stemmed shrub, with picturesque, ascending branching. Funnel-shaped, light pink or purplish flowers with protruding stamens occur in large clusters, appearing before or with the leaves. Smooth, blue-green, deciduous foliage turns purplish in fall.
This azalea is extremely hardy with marked tolerance to high pH.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , GA , IL , KY , MA , MD , ME , MO , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , TN , TX , VA , VT , WV
Native Distribution: NH to s. Que., s. to n.w. NC & KY; also s. IL to e. TX
Native Habitat: Damp thickets; open woods; shores
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Thin, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: This azalea is extremely hardy with marked tolerance to high pH. Good cultural practices reduce the incidence of disease and insect damage.
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Bumble Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Combine seeds loosely with sphagnum moss and sprinkle lightly over a 2:1 perlite/peat mixture. Germinate under mist or a plastic tent. Optimum temperatures for germination are 45-50 degrees. Transplant seedlings to acid soil with a high content of orga
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Native shrub to replace non-native azaleas.
February 10, 2009
I want to replace my two dozen azaleas this spring (I think they're unattractive once the flowers fall off). I like the multiseason characteristics of weigela (midnight wine, W&R), but want to go na...
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, The - Valhalla, NY
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Rhododendron prinophyllum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Rhododendron prinophyllum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Rhododendron prinophyllum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2016-02-24
Research By: TWC Staff