pink azalea Ericaceae Rhododendron
periclymenoides (Michx.) Shinners symbol: RHPE4
Leaf: Alternate (tightly clustered at twig tips appearing whorled), simple, deciduous, ovate, 1 to 3 inches long, pinnately veined, dull green above and green below with a ciliate margin.
Flower: Species is monoecious; very showy, light pink to violet, 1 1/2 inches long and across, in large clusters appearing with or just before the leaves in mid-spring.
Fruit: An oblong capsule, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, with ascending hairs. The capsule splits when ripe, releasing the very tiny, somewhat winged seeds in late summer.
Twig: Very slender, red-brown to gray, bristly-hairy; buds are multiple terminal, pointed and yellow-green to red-brown, flower buds are much larger 1/2 inch long, broadly ovate.
Bark: Gray to redddish-brown, becoming finely shreddy.
Form: A stoloniferous shrub that branches low, often with a crooked stem, may reach up to 4 feet tall but usually smaller. The multiple terminal buds often result in whorls of twigs from the central stem.
Looks like: flame azalea - swamp azalea - dwarf azalea
Additional Range Information: Rhododendron periclymenoides is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting pink azalea.
More Information: Fall Color
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