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Rhododendron arborescens

This plant has poison characteristics. See below.
Common Name(s):
Smooth azalea, Sweet azalea
Cultivar(s):
'Georgiana', 'Hot Ginger', 'Dynamite'
Categories:
Native Plants, Poisonous Plants, Shrubs
Comment:

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

Height:
8-20 ft
Foliage:
Lustrous dark green leaves; bright orange or crimson fall color
Flower:
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
Zones:
4 to 7
Habit:
Deciduous
Site:
Best grown in light, acidic, sandy, well-drained soils in part shade. Tolerates wet sites. Although winter hardy to USDA Zone 4, it does not prosper in areas with high summer temperatures, and is not recommended for planting south of USDA Zone 7.
Texture:
Medium
Form:
Erect habit; loosely branched
Exposure:
Sun to partial shade; moist, well drained soil
Fruit:
White to light pink fragrant flowers often with red stamens in late spring (after new leaves have fully expanded); may bloom spo
Family:
Ericaceae
Origin:
Eastern North America
Poison Part:
All parts.
Poison Delivery Mode:
Ingestion
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.
Toxic Principle:
Andromedotoxin.
Severity:
HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN!
Found in:
Houseplant or interiorscape; landscape as cultivated woody shrub; forest or natural area.
Width:
8-20 ft
Tags:
woodland, boarders, shade garden, rabbits, deciduous, wet sites, bees, fall color, nectar, pollinator, fragrant, specialized bees, native bees, wet soil, wildlife, butterflies, wet

NCCES plant id: 527

Rhododendron arborescens Flower
Fritz Flohr Reynolds, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Rhododendron arborescens Flower clusters
NC Orchid, CC BY-NC-2.0
Rhododendron arborescens Open branching
Elizabeth, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0