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Duncan, Robert C.
Rhododendron prinophyllum (Small) Millais
Early azalea, Roseshell azalea, Woolly azalea
Synonym(s): Azalea prinophylla, Rhododendron nudiflorum var. roseum, Rhododendron roseum
USDA Symbol: RHPR
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun
, 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.
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
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2009-11-23
Research By: TWC Staff