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Duncan, Robert C.
Rhododendron prinophyllum (Small) Millais
Early azalea, Roseshell azalea, Woolly azalea
Synonyms: Rhododendron roseum
USDA Symbol: rhpr
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Early azalea or roseshell azalea is a 6-12 ft. tall and wide, multi-stemmed shrub, with picturesque, ascending branching. Funnel-shaped, light pink or purplish flowers with protruding stamens occur in large clusters, appearing before or with the leaves. Smooth, blue-green, deciduous foliage turns purplish in fall.
This azalea is extremely hardy with marked tolerance to high pH.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun
AL , AR , CT , GA , IL , KY , MA , MD , ME , MO , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , TN , TX , VA , VT , WV Native Distribution:
NH to s. Que., s. to n.w. NC & KY; also s. IL to e. TX Native Habitat:
Damp thickets; open woods; shores USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Thin, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: This azalea is extremely hardy with marked tolerance to high pH. Good cultural practices reduce the incidence of disease and insect damage.
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 Collection: Not Available
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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Record Modified: 2009-11-23
Research By: TWC Staff