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Rhododendron indicum

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Azalea indica
Phonetic Spelling
roh-do-DEN-dron IN-dih-kum
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Southern Indian Azalea is a small semi-evergreen shrub that grows up to 6' and is dense and spreading. It is native to Japan and has showy hot pink flowers that bloom in mid to late spring, usually 1-2 weeks after R. kiusianum. The persistent evergreen leaves are smaller than the seasonal deciduous leaves. The leaves are subequal the size of the seasonal leaves of R. kiusianum. In general, flowers and leaves are larger than those of R. kiusianum with similar structures, but smaller versions overlap with larger versions of R. kiusianum, hence why they are often confused with each other. There are two groups of cultivars. The Southern Indian Azalea selections are moderately cold-hardy and grown outdoors in the south. The Belgian Indian Azalea selections are not cold-hardy, and are grown under glass and utilized as pot plants in the floricultural trade. All parts of the plant are poisonous when ingested. This plant prefers partial shade. It is intolerant of heavy and wet soils. It is intolerant of drought and excessive fertilization. It has a flow growth rate, requires a high level of maintenance. This plant has pest and disease problems, especially fungal diseases. 

Quick ID Hints:

  • Small shrub, sympodial growth, with crowded evergreen leaves in tiers
  • Twigs & leaves covered with reddish-brown hairs 

  • Flowers axillary, single in spring with funnel-form corolla

  • Calyx 5-lobed, elongated & pointed

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:
Birdbath Nook
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Crimson Majesty'
  • 'Formosa'
    Lavender pink flowers, sun tolerant
'Crimson Majesty', 'Formosa'
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#pink flowers#spring flowers#winter interest#rabbit resistant#hedges#fantz#evergreen shrub#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Crimson Majesty'
  • 'Formosa'
    Lavender pink flowers, sun tolerant
'Crimson Majesty', 'Formosa'
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#pink flowers#spring flowers#winter interest#rabbit resistant#hedges#fantz#evergreen shrub#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Rhododendron
    Species:
    indicum
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Japan
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are a dehiscent 5-valved capsule.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are axillary, single to rarely double, non hose-in-hose, bright red to scarlet to pinkish-red or white. There are 5 calyx lobes that are elongated, narrow, and acutely pointed. Corolla is funnel-form, 1-2" in size, have 5 lobes with the upper central lobe and sometimes the lateral pair bearing conspicuous maculation. They bloom in mid to late spring.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are alternate, simple, crowded, and consist of evergreen (winter) leaves and deciduous (seasonal) leaves. Blades are narrowly lanceolate to oblanceolate, crenate-serrulate, with scattered reddish-brown hairs on veins below. Petiole is pubescent with stiff reddish-brown hairs.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Twigs are pubescent with stiff reddish-brown trichomes and has sympodial growth.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    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