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Rhododendron alabamense (Alabama azalea)
Cressler, Alan

Rhododendron alabamense

Rhododendron alabamense Rehder

Alabama Azalea

Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Synonym(s): Azalea alabamensis

USDA Symbol: RHAL5

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A low-growing, deciduous azalea usually less than 6 ft. high. Tends toward compactness and may sucker. The white, sometimes yellow-blotched, lemon-scented, tubular flowers with protruding stamens occur in terminal clusters of 6-10 before or with leaf emergence.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 15 feet tall, often much shorter.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: White petals are sometimes tinged pink.


USA: AL , FL , GA , MS , NC , SC , TN
Native Distribution: SC to AL
Native Habitat: Dry, open woods; rich, wooded slopes

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Shade
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Well-drained soil.
Conditions Comments: Possibly the most fragrant native azalea. Alabama azalea frequently hybridizes and does not always appear true-to-type so it should be purchased in flower.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Bumble Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Combine seeds loosely with sphagnum moss and sprinkle lightly over a 2:1 perlite/peat mixture. Optimum temperatures for germination are 45-50 degrees. Transplant seedlings to acid soil with a high content of organic matter. Cultivated evergreen azaleas
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Rhododendron alabamense in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Rhododendron alabamense in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Rhododendron alabamense


Record Modified: 2022-10-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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