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Florida Azalea Rhododendron austrinum

Phonetic Spelling
rho-doh-DEN-dron aw-STRIH-num
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Loose multi-stemmed woody shrub; easy to grow; fragrant flowers; native to the lower southeastern US, but not native to North Carolina; drought tolerant.

Wildlife Value: Flowers attract hummingbirds. 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 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.

HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN!

VIDEO Created by Elizabeth Meyer for "Trees, Shrubs and Conifers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

More information on Rhododendron.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Don's Variegated'
  • 'Firecracker'
  • 'Lisa's Gold'
'Don's Variegated', 'Firecracker', 'Lisa's Gold'
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#hummingbirds#evergreen#showy flowers#deciduous#poisonous#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#nectar plant#native bees#low maintenance#specialized bees#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Don's Variegated'
  • 'Firecracker'
  • 'Lisa's Gold'
'Don's Variegated', 'Firecracker', 'Lisa's Gold'
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#hummingbirds#evergreen#showy flowers#deciduous#poisonous#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#nectar plant#native bees#low maintenance#specialized bees#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Rhododendron
    Species:
    austrinum
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    lower southeastern US
    Dimensions:
    Height: 8 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 8 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Elongated capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Clear yellow, cream, gold-orange to almost red flowers in spring before leaves emerge
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, simple dark green leaves; yellow to bronze-orange fall color
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Houseplants
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Hummingbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • 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, cardiac failure, difficult breathing, progressive paralysis of arms and legs, coma.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Andromedotoxin, Grayantoxin
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Seeds
    Stems