Rhododendrons and Azaleas
There are not many shrubs that are so widely anticipated in the spring as azaleas and rhododendrons. Their showy lively displays of colour will excite the senses and take centre stage in any landscape. It is the magnificent masses of colour that electrify the coming of spring. The majority will bloom from March through May with a smaller number of species flowering in June to July. They are one of the most popular shrubs that people grow where conditions are suitable, require a slightly acidic soil.
There are as many as about 1000 different species of rhododendrons native to Asia, North America and Europe. Wild rhododendrons are found from sea level to about 19,000 feet elevation, including alpine regions, temperate rain forests and broadleaved woodlands. Rhododendrons and azaleas come in all sizes and shapes from ground covers to tall trees.
Rhododendron and Azaleas are one of the best plants that are the epitome of spring. Any specimen in full bloom has no equal specimen in the spring garden. They are drop dead gorgeous in all their various forms and colours. Any single specimen is hypnotising when viewed close up. A group of them viewed at a distance is nothing short of magnificent. Their form, habit and incredible colours will dominate the spring landscape!
Rhododendrons and Azaleas are native to Asia, Europe, and North America and may be either deciduous or evergreen. All evergreen species tend to originate from Asia and are very hardy. Rhododendrons and Azaleas belong to the genus Rhododendron, with azaleas identified as a subspecies of the rhododendron family. According to botanists there are not enough differences between the two to rank them as two species.
“All azaleas are rhododendrons, but not all rhododendrons are azaleas” (American Rhododendron Society)