Rhododendron austrinum (Small) Rehd.


Azalea austrina Small; R. nudiflorum var. luteum Curtiss ex Rehd.

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A deciduous azalea up to 9 ft high; young shoots and leaf-stalks furnished with soft down mixed with which are numerous gland-tipped hairs. Leaves oval to obovate, 112 to 312 in. long, both surfaces downy, especially the lower one; margins bristly. Flowers slightly fragrant, borne in April or May eight to fifteen in a cluster; flower-stalks about 14 in. long, hairy and glandular. Lobes of calyx downy outside, margined with gland-tipped hairs. Corolla pale to deep yellow or orange, with a cylindrical tube 34 in. long, downy, glandular and more or less stained with purple or red outside. Stamens five, 2 in. long, downy below the middle; anthers yellowish. Ovary covered with whitish hairs, some of them glandular. Style slightly longer than the stamens, downy near the base. (s. Azalea ss. Luteum)

Native of the south-eastern USA, from Georgia and N. Florida to S.E. Mississippi; discovered before 1865 by Dr Chapman; introduced to Britain by Sargent in 1916. In general aspect it resembles R. canescens but differs in flower-colour and is more glandular. It has proved quite hardy at Kew despite its southern provenance.



Other species in the genus