false azalea Ericaceae Menziesia
ferruginea Sm. symbol: MEFE
Leaf: Alternate, simple, deciduous, pinnately veined, obovate to elliptical, 1 1/2 to 4 inches long, dark green above and paler below, with a finely serrate or entire margin, sticky, malodorous when crushed.
Flower: Urn-shaped, 1/4 inch, yellow to orange-pink and often described as rust-colored (hence ferruginea), borne in few-flowered clusters appearing May to July.
Fruit: An oblong woody capsule, glabrous, 1/4 inch long, splits into 4 segments when mature, mid to late summer.
Twig: Slender, reddish brown, somewhat pubescent, buds occur in clusters at ends of twigs, sticky.
Bark: Red-brown to gray-brown, thin, becomes scaly.
Form: Upright shrub that may reach 10 feet tall. Twigs often appear in whorls from central stem.
Looks like: big huckleberry - western azalea
Additional Range Information: Menziesia ferruginea is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting false azalea.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - 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