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Smooth Azalea Rhododendron arborescens

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
rho-doh-DEN-dron ar-bor-ESS-senz
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
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!

More information on Rhododendron.

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Dynamite'
  • 'Georgiana'
  • 'Hot Ginger'
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#deciduous#fall color#poisonous#rain garden#houseplant#wildlife plant#nectar plant#native bees#shade garden#rabbit resistant#wet sites#specialized bees#woodland#borders#pollinator plant#larval host plant#food source summer#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#Piedmont Mountains FAC#Coastal FACW#mammals#butterfly friendly#butterflies#pollinators#hummingbird
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Dynamite'
  • 'Georgiana'
  • 'Hot Ginger'
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#deciduous#fall color#poisonous#rain garden#houseplant#wildlife plant#nectar plant#native bees#shade garden#rabbit resistant#wet sites#specialized bees#woodland#borders#pollinator plant#larval host plant#food source summer#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#Piedmont Mountains FAC#Coastal FACW#mammals#butterfly friendly#butterflies#pollinators#hummingbird
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Rhododendron
    Species:
    arborescens
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Wildlife Value:
    Food source for birds, larval host plant for butterflies and moths.
    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
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Description:
    Displays from July to October.
  • Flowers:
    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 from May to July (after new leaves have fully expanded); may bloom sporadically all summer; strong fragrance
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant 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:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Rabbits
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    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