Please submit a search term.

Rhododendron periclymenoides

This plant has poison characteristics. See below.
Common Name(s):
Pinxter flower, Pinxterbloom azalea, Wild azalea
Categories:
Native Plants, Poisonous Plants, Shrubs
Comment:

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 scortch the leaves and the roots rot if 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.

Height:
4-10 ft. Size varies with habitat
Foliage:
The Pinxterbloom azalea has oblong to elliptic green leaves. The leaves are alternate, simple, smooth- or toothed-margined. It has dull yellow fall foliage.
Flower:
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.
Zones:
4-9
Habit:
Deciduous
Site:
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.
Texture:
Medium
Form:
Low, spreading, much branched
Exposure:
Sun to partial shade
Fruit:
Capsule
Family:
Ericaceae
Poison Part:
All parts.
Poison Delivery Mode:
Ingestion
Symptoms:
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
Severity:
HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN!
Found in:
Houseplant or interiorscape; landscape as cultivated woody shrub; forest or natural area.
Width:
4-5 ft.
Tags:
fragrance, specialized bees, pollinator, deciduous, bees, nectar, hedge, fragrant, hummingbirds, fragrant flowers, showy, wildlife, butterflies, evergreen

NCCES plant id: 537

Rhododendron periclymenoides Flowers
Fritz Flohr Reynolds, CC BY-SA - 4.0
Rhododendron periclymenoides Flowers on branches.
Katja Schultz, CC BY - 4.0
Rhododendron periclymenoides Form
Anita Gould, CC BY-NC - 4.0