- Common Name(s):
- Pinxter flower, Pinxterbloom azalea, Wild azalea
- Native Plants, Poisonous Plants, Shrubs
Rhododendron periclymenoides, commonly called pinxterbloom azalea, is a deciduous shrub that is native to moist woods, swamp margins and open areas from Massachusetts to South Carolina and Tennessee. It is a dense, bushy, suckering shrub that typically grows 2-6’ (less frequently to 10’) tall. Its bark is gray to reddish-brown and finely shredded.
It does best with a half day of sun. It has a slow growth rate.
Regions: Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plains
Seasons of Interest:
Bloom: Early spring/spring Nut/Fruit/Seed: Fall
Wildlife Value: This plant has a low resistance to damage from deer. Hummingbirds and swallowtail butterflies are attracted to the blooms. Members of the genus Rhododendron support the following specialized bee: Andrena (Andrena) cornelli.
Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Rhododendrons are susceptible to insect and disease problems. Insect problems include aphids, borers, lacebugs, leafhoppers, mealybugs, mites, nematodes, scale, thrips, and whitefly. Diseases include canker, crown rot, root rot, leaf spot, rust, and powdery mildew. Full sun can scorch the leaves and the roots rot if the soil does not drain well. A healthy plant in the right place with proper maintenance should have few problems. This plant is frequently damaged by deer.
Formerly known as Rhododendron nudiflorum.
- 4-10 ft. Size varies with habitat
- The Pinxterbloom azalea has oblong to elliptic green leaves. The leaves are alternate, simple, smooth- or toothed-margined. It has dull yellow fall foliage.
- The Pinxterbloom azalea has clusters of soft pink (often cotton candy pink) to white to lavender, slightly fragrant, funnel-shaped flowers (to 1.5” across), each with 5 long curved stamens, bloom in April immediately preceding the emergence of the foliage. Its fruit an elongated capsule.
- The Pinxterbloom azalea is best grown in acidic, humusy, organically rich, medium moisture, moisture-retentive but well-drained soils in part shade. It tolerates dryish, sandy or rocky soils. It prefers a sun dappled or high open shade. Also tolerant of sun in cool summer climates, but leaves may scorch in hot afternoon sun in hot summer climates. Good soil drainage is essential (doesn’t like “wet feet”). Poor drainage inevitably leads to root rot, therefore raised beds/plantings should be considered in heavy clay soil. Shallow, fibrous root systems (do not cultivate around plants) will benefit greatly from a mulch (e.g., wood chips, bark or pine needles) to help retain moisture and stabilize soil temperatures. Acidify soils as needed. Clip off spent flower clusters immediately after bloom as practicable.
- Low, spreading, much branched
- Sun to partial shade
- Poison Part:
- All parts.
- Poison Delivery Mode:
- 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:
- HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN!
- Found in:
- Houseplant or interiorscape; landscape as cultivated woody shrub; forest or natural area.
- 4-5 ft.
NCCES plant id: 537