Florida azalea Ericaceae Rhododendron
austrinum (Small) Rehder symbol: RHAU
Leaf: Alternate, simple, deciduous, pinnately veined, obovate to elliptical, 1 to 3 1/2 inches long, dull green above, with a ciliate margin.
Flower: Showy, bright orange to yellow and may be tinged with red, fragrant, up to 1 1/2 inches across, with long flower tubes, sticky glandular hairs present, appearing before the leaves.
Fruit: An oblong woody capsule, 1/3 to 1/2 inch long, splits into 5 segments when mature in late summer.
Twig: Slender, reddish brown, initially hairy, single bundle scar, buds occur in clusters at ends of twigs; flower buds are much larger (1/2 long) than vegetative buds.
Bark: Red-brown to gray-brown, thin, may become finely shreddy.
Form: Upright shrub that may reach 10 feet tall. Twigs often appear in whorls from central stem.
Looks like: flame azalea - swamp azalea
Additional Range Information: Rhododendron austrinum is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting Florida 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