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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Rhododendron periclymenoides (Michx.) Shinners
Pink azalea, Pinxterbloom azalea, Pinxterflower
Synonym(s): Azalea nudiflora, Rhododendron nudiflorum, Rhododendron nudiflorum var. glandiferum, Rhododendron periclymenoides var. eglandulosum
USDA Symbol: rhpe4
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Pink azalea is a 6-12 ft. shrub, (usually closer to 6 ft.) with picturesque, horizontal branching above. Funnel-shaped, pink or white flowers with protruding stamens occur in large clusters, appearing before or with the leaves. Smooth, medium-green, deciduous foliage turns dull yellow in fall. A deciduous shrub, with terminal clusters of pink, tubular, vase-shaped, slightly fragrant flowers.
This much-branched shrub is especially showy in flower. It is relatively tolerant of dry sites and can be transplanted into wild shrub gardens. The species name, Latin for naked-flowered, refers to the fact that the flowers often appear before its leaves are fully expanded. Mountain Azalea (R. canescens) and Woolly Azalea (R. prinophyllum) are also found within the range of this species.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Green Autumn Foliage:
Brown Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
, WV Native Distribution: NH
s. to GA
& TN Native Habitat:
Moist to dry woods; bogs
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Various well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: At least half a day of sunshine seems to keep pinxter from getting leggy. The slow-growing species is frequently troubled by leaf scorch, chlorosis from high pH, dieback, and disease and insect problems.
BenefitWarning: Rhododendrons contain poisonous substances and should not be ingested by humans or animals. Honey made from flowers also may be toxic. POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Highly Toxic, May be Fatal if eaten. Symptoms include salivation, watering of eyes and nose, abdominal pain, loss of energy, depression, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, difficult breathing, progressive paralysis of arms and legs, coma. Toxic Principle: Andromedotoxin. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
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.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Delaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DEMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2009-11-23
Research By: TWC Staff