Friday, March 11, 2016

Celebrate Native Azaleas in the Wild and in Your Garden

This Oconee azalea (Rhododendron flammeum) blooms in April in the State Botanical Garden of Georgia’s International Garden.

Native azalea is the 2016 Georgia Gold Medal Plant of the Year in the native plant category ( There are 12 species (some say 13) of azaleas that can be found in Georgia. In fact, Georgia has more species of native azalea than any other state. 

Rhododendron alabamense, Alabama azalea - fragrant bloom is white with a yellow blotch, mid to late April, 3-10’

Rhododendron arborescens, sweet azalea – fragrant, white, July-August, 8-12’

Rhododendron atlanticum, coastal azalea – fragrant, white to pink, May, 3-5’, stoloniferous

Rhododendron austrinum, Florida azalea – fragrant, yellow to orange-red, March - April, over ten feet

Rhododendron calendulaceum, flame azalea – large blooms, yellow, orange or red, April to June, over 10’

Rhododendron canescens, Piedmont azalea – fragrant, white to rose, March-April, 10-15’

Rhododendron cumberlandense (R. bakeri), Cumberland Azalea - orange to red, June, 2-5’ 

Rhododendron flammeum (R. speciosum), Oconee azalea – yellow-orange to red, April, low mounding shrubs to plants six feet or more in height. 

Rhododendron periclymenoides (R. nudiflorum), pinxterbloom azalea – fragrant, white to deep violet red, April, 4-6’

Rhododendron prunifolium, plumleaf azalea – orange to red, late June-August, to 15’, signature plant of Callaway Gardens

Rhododendron vaseyi, pinkshell azalea – pale to deep pink, April, to 12’

Rhododendron viscosum, swamp azalea, Pinkshell Azalea – white, May-June, up to 12’

Interested in learning more? 
Cliff Brock will be teaching these upcoming classes at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens. There is a discount available if you register for both classes. Register online at or by calling 706-542-6156.

Tuesday, March 22                            
Early Spring Treasures in the Woodland Garden
Join Cliff for the first of a two-part class focusing on some of our most beloved early risers in the in the South.  Through this class you will learn how to create a woodland ephemeral garden in your own yard.  Both sessions will focus on identification and cultivation strategies for shade-loving woodland perennials.  This class will focus on asaurms, trilliums, native wildflowers, and bulbs.  3:30 – 6:00 pm, $20.

Tuesday, April 12                              
Early Spring Treasures in the Woodland Garden
Join Cliff for a class focusing on mid-season ephemerals and native azaleas.  Learn how to create a woodland ephemeral garden in your own yard as well as identification and cultivation strategies for shade loving woodland perennials.  3:30 – 6:00 pm, $20.