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Evergreen Azalea Rhododendron 'Girard's Crimson'

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
roh-do-DEN-dron
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

'Girard's Crimson' azalea is a woody, broadleaf evergreen shrub in the Ericaceae (blueberry) family. It has a rounded compact form 2 to 4 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide. The genus name derives from the Greek words rhodo, which means rose, and dendron, meaning tree. Its parents are (R. Boudoir’ x R. ‘Alladin’) and (R. ‘Boudoir’ x R. ‘Corporal’). 

Plant this azalea in moist, well-drained, acid soil in part shade and with protection from afternoon sun which can scorch the leaves. It does not tolerate dense clay, so if you have clay soil, amend with organic material. Pruning, if desired, may be done after flowering. 

The large showy flowers bloom in mid to late spring and are purple red to crimson red in color. In the winter the glossy dark green leaves acquire copper red tones. 

This azalea is at home as an understory shrub planted in groups in woodland, shade garden, or naturalized area. Its small size is perfect for a courtyard garden, foundation planting, or small hedge.  Take advantage of its showy red flowers as  a specimen in a pollinator garden where it will attract hummingbirds and bees.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Insect problems include aphids, borers, lace bugs, leafhoppers, mealybugs, mites, nematodes, scale, thrips, and whitefly. Diseases include canker, crown rot, root rot, leaf spot, rust, and powdery mildew. This plant is frequently damaged by deer.

While rhododendrons remain very popular for landscape use, many cultivars are susceptible to Phytophthora root rot—this leads to leaf loss, reduced vigor, branch dieback, and wilting. Implement good cultural practices first, such as improving drainage with organic matter or berms and avoiding overwatering or overfertilization. However, if you have a site with a history of this disease, consider planting one of the root rot-resistant alternative species listed in the left-hand sidebar. 

For suitable alternatives, see this video created by Charlotte Glen as part of the Plants, Pests, and Pathogens series.

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

More information on Rhododendron.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#evergreen#showy flowers#poisonous#specimen#wildlife plant#red flowers#small shrub#shade garden#low maintenance#winter interest#mass planting#specialized bees#glossy leaves#foundation planting#large flowers#border planting#flowers late spring#small group plantings#compact habit#understory shrub#winter color red#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#shrub borders#woodland garden#flowers mid-spring#necatr plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#evergreen#showy flowers#poisonous#specimen#wildlife plant#red flowers#small shrub#shade garden#low maintenance#winter interest#mass planting#specialized bees#glossy leaves#foundation planting#large flowers#border planting#flowers late spring#small group plantings#compact habit#understory shrub#winter color red#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#shrub borders#woodland garden#flowers mid-spring#necatr plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Rhododendron
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract hummingbirds. Members of the genus Rhododendron support the following specialized bee: Andrena (Andrena) cornelli, and bumble bees.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    2 1/2" bright pink to crimson red funnel-shaped flowers with red dots appear mid to late spring.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Glossy dark green leaves have interesting copper red tones in the winter.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Small Space
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Shade Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Hummingbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Vomiting (not in horses), diarrhea, weakness, cardiac failure
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Grayantoxin
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No