western azalea Ericaceae Rhododendron
occidentale Torr. & A. Gray) A. Gray symbol: RHOC
Leaf: Alternate, simple, deciduous, elliptical, 2 to 4 inches long, green and smooth above and paler below, entire margins.
Flower: Perfect, showy, trumpet-shaped, white or tinged with pink, 1 to 2 inches long, borne in loose clusters, appearing in early summer.
Fruit: A small brown, 5-parted capsule about 1/2 inch long, borne in clusters.
Twig: New twigs are slender and red- to orange-brown, and finely pubescent; older twigs are gray-brown and smooth; buds are small and have red, imbricate scales.
Bark: Grayish brown and thin, smooth or scaly.
Form: A loosely branched shrub to 10 feet tall.
Looks like: Pacific rhododendron
Additional Range Information: Rhododendron occidentale is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting western azalea.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson