swamp azalea Ericaceae Rhododendron
canescens (Michx.) Sweet symbol: RHCA7
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, obovate to elliptical, deciduous, 1 to 3 inches long, dull green above, wooly hairs below.
Flower: White to pink with tube length much longer than petals, appearing with or just before leaves in spring.
Fruit: An oblong woody capsule, 1/3 to 1/2 inch long, splits when mature in late summer.
Twig: Slender, brown, very hairy, single bundle scar, buds occur in clusters at ends of twigs; flower buds are much larger (1/2 long).
Bark: Gray-brown and thin, may become scaly.
Form: Tall shrub that may reach 15 feet tall. Twigs often appear in whorls from central stem.
Looks like: pink azalea - dwarf azalea
Additional Range Information: Rhododendron canescens is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting swamp azalea.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
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