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Rhododendron arborescens Rhododendron arborescens

Common Name(s):

  • Smooth Azalea
  • Sweet Azalea
Phonetic Spelling
rho-doh-DEN-dron ar-bor-ESS-senz
Description

A loosly branched deciduous shrub that has pink or yellow fragrant flowers and bright orange to crimson fall foliage.  It is fast growing and spreads by underground runners.  Shallow roots do not like cultivation around them, but rather prefer a thick layer of organic mulch which will help maintain moisture and protect against low winter temperatures.  Test your soil as it may need to be acidified before planting and there after to maintain a low enough pH to satisfy this shrub's growth requirements.  Does well planted in mixed or shrub boarders, woodland or open shade gardens. It tolerates wet planting sites so would be ideal in a rain garden.  Deadhead immediately after bloom to maintain appearance. 

Seasons of Interest:

Foliage: Fall, crimson  Bloom: Spring/Summer, May-July

Wildlife: Flowers attract butterflies.  Tolerates damage by rabbits but is frequently damaged by deer.  Members of the genus Rhododendron support the following specialized bee: Andrena (Andrena) cornelli.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Insect problems include  aphids, borers, lacebugs, leafhoppers, mealybugs, mites, nematodes, scale, thrips and whitefly.  .  Disease problems including but are not limited to canker, crown rot, root rot, leaf spot, rust, powdery mildew.  Full sun can scorch foliage.   A healthy plant planted in the right place with good care should have limited problems.

Compare this Plant to:  RatlanticumR. vaseyiR. viscosum

HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN!

Cultivars:
  • 'Dynamite'
  • 'Georgiana'
  • 'Hot Ginger'
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#butterflies#deciduous#fall color#pollinators#poisonous#rain garden#houseplant#wildlife plant#nectar plant#native bees#woodland garden#shade garden#rabbit resistant#wet sites#border#specialized bees
Cultivars:
  • 'Dynamite'
  • 'Georgiana'
  • 'Hot Ginger'
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#butterflies#deciduous#fall color#pollinators#poisonous#rain garden#houseplant#wildlife plant#nectar plant#native bees#woodland garden#shade garden#rabbit resistant#wet sites#border#specialized bees
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Rhododendron
    Species:
    arborescens
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Dimensions:
    Height: 8 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 8 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full Sun (Direct sunlight 8+ hours a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight (2-4 hrs) for only part of the day
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
  • Flower:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    White to light pink fragrant flowers often with pinkish to red stamens in late spring (after new leaves have fully expanded); may bloom sporadically all summer; strong fragrance
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Lustrous dark green leaves; bright orange or crimson fall color
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Houseplants
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Rabbits
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous
  • Poison:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison 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.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Andromedotoxin
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Seeds
    Stems