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Rhododendron atlanticum (Ashe) Rehder
Dwarf Azalea, Coastal Azalea
Ericaceae (Heath Family)
Synonym(s): Azalea atlantica
USDA Symbol: RHAT
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
A low, colony-forming shrub, sending up short-lived flowering branches, 1-3 ft. high. White to pinkish, funnel-shaped flowers with protruding stamens occur in long-stalked clusters before or with the leaves. Leaves are distinctly blue-green.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Leaf: Dark Green
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
DistributionUSA: DC , DE , GA , MD , NC , NJ , PA , SC , VA
Native Distribution: Coastal Plain from s. NJ to AL
Native Habitat: Moist, flat, pine woods; coastal savannas
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Well-drained, sandy soil.
Conditions Comments: Good cultural practices reduce the incidence of disease and insect damage.
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
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 Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
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:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Rhododendron atlanticum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Rhododendron atlanticum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Rhododendron atlanticum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-24
Research By: TWC Staff