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Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn
Rhododendron calendulaceum (Michx.) Torr.
Synonyms: Azalea calendulacea, Azalea lutea
USDA Symbol: RHCA4
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Flame azalea is an upright-branched deciduous shrub, 6-12 ft. tall and equally as wide, with large, showy, funnel-shaped flowers in clusters of 5 or more. Summer foliage is medium green and the fall color is subdued yellow to red. The non-fragrant flowers, appearing before or with the leaves, vary in color from pale yellow to apricot to brilliant scarlet red. A deciduous shrub with terminal clusters of tubular, vase-shaped, orange, red, or yellow flowers.
This beautiful southern Azalea forms striking displays on some of the grassy balds of the southern Appalachians. A wide variation of color forms occurs, from all shades of yellow to orange-yellow and scarlet. The flowers appear before or with the new leaves. This species is extensively planted as an ornamental. Like most members of the heath family, it does best in acid soil.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Autumn Foliage:
Brown Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun
AL , CT , GA , KY , MD , NC , NY , OH , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV Native Distribution:
NY to s. OH, s. to GA & MS Native Habitat:
Dry, rocky, mountain woods; heath balds USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Well-drained soil.
Conditions Comments: Rhododendron calendulaceum tolerates dry soil. It needs at least a few hours of sun each day, proper soil, and careful pruning when young for the best floral displays. Floral show lasts nearly two weeks. Good cultural practices reduce the incidence of disease and insect damage.
BenefitWarning: Rhododendrons contain poisonous substances and should not be ingested by humans or animals. Honey made from flowers also may be toxic. POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Highly Toxic, May be Fatal if eaten. Symptoms include salivation, watering of eyes and nose, abdominal pain, loss of energy, depression, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, difficult breathing, progressive paralysis of arms and legs, coma. Toxic Principle: Andromedotoxin. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
PropagationDescription: Combine seeds loosely with sphagnum moss and sprinkle lightly over a 2:1 perlite/peat mixture. Germinate under mist or a plastic tent. Optimum temperatures for germination are 45-50 degrees. Transplant seedlings to acid soil with a high content of orga
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Native shrub to replace non-native azaleas.
February 10, 2009
I want to replace my two dozen azaleas this spring (I think they're unattractive once the flowers fall off). I like the multiseason characteristics of weigela (midnight wine, W&R), but want to go na...
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From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Delaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DE
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2009-02-18
Research By: TWC Staff