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Deciduous Azaleas

This group is what we think of as the 'standard' Azaleas.  They are upright growing shrubs which may reach 6 feet  or more in height.  Most bloom in June but some newer American hybrids (primarily the Weston Hybrids) are summer blooming, flowering as late as the end of July, even into August!  These hybrids significantly extend the rhododendron season. 

Botanically, they belong to a group called the Pentanthera section, recognized by their flowers producing five stamens.  They often produce their flowers prior to or just as the new leaves unfurl.  Flower trusses are large and the most popular cultivars are bright yellow and orange shades. However, they are available in a rainbow of shades except blue.  Some cultivars, especially the orange and red hybrids, have reddish new leaves that are quite attractive.  Many have excellent fall color as well.

There are a number of hybrid groups within the deciduous Azaleas.  The most popular traditionally were the Knap Hill and Exbury Hybrids.  The Knap Hill azaleas were raised by the Waterer family at Knap Hill Nursery in Surrey, England, from the late 19th century until about 1939.  These hybrids were developed by crossing R. molle, a Chinese species with American species such as R. calendulaceum, R. viscosum and R. arborescens.  Further breeding along the same lines was carried out by Lionel de Rothschild in Exbury, leading to the Exbury Hybrids. Another common hybrid groups are the Ghent Hybrids (among the oldest deciduous Azalea hybrids) from Belgium and the Weston Hybrids (some of the newest hybrids) from the USA.  Many of the Weston Hybrids have smaller, more honeysuckle-like flowers that are highly fragrant.  All of these Azaleas are rated -25 to -29.

 

 

Berry Rose (Exbury/Knap Hill) -25º

A new Exbury azalea, Berry Rose has rose pink flowers with a yellow blotch.  The new foliage is burgundy, coppery and quite spectacular when it appears simultaneously with the flowers.  This is another fragrant azalea from Knapp Hill. 

 

Golden Lights (U. of Minnesota) -40º

One of the hardiest deciduous azaleas ever produced.  Brilliant golden yellow flowers with shading.  You will enjoy the warm spring with this FRAGRANT flower.

Hotspur Red (Exbury/Knap Hill) -25º

Hotspur Red is another deciduous Exbury in a long list of great performers.  It has large brilliant red flowers with an orange flair  in late May or early June.  Additional interest is provided by the new foliage growth which is red tinged.  This azalea seems to tolerate shade much better than other deciduous azaleas.  It will also grow in full sun provided it is given sufficient moisture.  Unlike some azaleas, Hotspur in not grown for its scent.  Reaches around 5 feet in height.

Satan (Exbury/Knap Hill) -25º

A recent introduction from Knapp Hill, Satan has late blooming deep scarlet flowers on a typical Exbury frame.  The Fall foliage is an attractive bronze.  Satan blooms in late May.

 

 

Evergreen Azaleas

Most evergreen azaleas are so covered with blossoms that they totally hide the foliage of the plant. This is particularly true of those with smaller flowers. Varieties such as the Robin Hills, while perhaps not as totally covered, are as spectacular because of their larger flowers.


When the spot you have in mind appears too shady for sun-loving deciduous azaleas, try the more shade tolerant evergreen azaleas. In full sun they would likely have a few more blooms but would probably fade a little faster.

Evergreen Azaleas can soften and hide the sometimes bare lower branches of taller plants. Dwarfs are excellent for filling in among larger varieties, for rock gardens and for defining and enhancing the edges of garden paths.

In addition to providing a tapestry of leaf textures that you’ll enjoy year-round, most evergreen azaleas will treat you to a dazzling display of Fall color as the Fall leaves of the whites change to yellow and those of the deeper colors turn marvelous shades of red, wine and orange.

Caroline Gable (Gable) -15º

Joe Gable hybridized a lot of azaleas. Formed by crossing poukhanense x kaempferi, and poukhanense x hexe, Caroline was chosen by Joe Gable as one of his brightest reds. Late mid-searson flowers are 11/2" with a deeper blotch, budding profusely in sun. A hardy plant which is upright and spreading, growing to 4-5'. 

 

 

Elsie Lee (Shammarello) -15º

Light reddish-purple flowers appear in the middle of each flowering season on this fine, hardy azalea.  The large, simi-double flowers are supported by a strong branching system covered with forest green leaves.

Girards's Crimson (Girard) -15º 

Girard's Crimson Evergreen Azalea likes full sun to part sun, but will tolerate partial shade. It grows to about 3 feet high & four wide in ten years, has large deeply red blooms, & looks good in a group of azaleas & rhodies that likewise remain smallish.  Not only is the Girard's Crimson flower bright & wonderful, but additionally the deep green leaf shape stands out as being "itself" within a grouping of evergreen azaleas each with differing leaves.  Much better looking foliage than other Girard's varieties

Girards's Dwarf Lavender (Girard) -15º 

Girard's Dwarf Lavender has medium clear lavender florets in mid May, although many describe the flower as a purple rather than a lavender.  One of the most uniform and compact growing of all the evergreen azaleas.  It has excellent foliage vigor and hardiness and need no, or very little, pruning.  Excellent for small gardens and foundation plantings, Dwarf Lavender displays a kaleidoscope of Fall colors including, orange, yellow and green.

 

Girards's Fucshia (Girard) -15º 

Developed in Northern Ohio to withstand the cold winters, Girard's fucshia is reddish purple with large three inch flowers.  This plant is compact with strong dense foliage.

Girards's Hot Shot (Girard) -15º 

Developed in Northern Ohio to withstand the cold winters, Girard's (Great Lake's Evergreen Azalea) Hot Shot has ruffled firey red flowers in mid May.  The flowers are almost the color of tomatoes with red spotting and the lobes are wavy.  Growing to 3 feet in 8 years, the foliage turns burgundy red in Fall and Winter.


 

 

Girards's Leslie Purple (Girard) -15º

Leslie's Purple has very large hose-in-hose purple blossoms on a  low and compact plant. Like all Girard's evergreen azaleas this one is also very hardy.  It blooms in early May.

 

Girards's Pink (Girard) -10º

This is another hardy Girard's azalea from Northern Ohio.  It is very hardy with bright pink flowers that are larger than a silver dollar.  This variety will withstand all but the severest winter.

 

Girard's Renee Michelle (Girard) -10º

Renee Michelle is another of the Great Lakes Evergreen Azaleas developed in Northern Ohio to withstand the Midwest winters.  It is lower growing than most.  Flowers are a deep shade of pink with red speckles.  Like other evergreen azaleas, the foliage turns mahagony during Fall and Winter.  Renee Michelle is sometimes reported as being slightly less hardy than the other Girard azaleas.

Hilda Niblett (Robin Hill) - 30º (-10º buds)

Hilda Niblett is a truly beautiful, one-of-a-kind plant. Its unique, low-maintenance turtle-shaped habit makes it one of the most exciting azaleas. It bears soft pink, 4-inch flowers heavily marked with a deeper rose-pink. Small, bright green leaves give year-round appeal.  Robert Gartrell's large-flowered, evergreen Azaleas extend the Azalea bloom season into late spring and early summer.  Never more than 1 foot tall, its growth is vigorous but disciplined, requiring no pruning to maintain its symmetrical shape. With a 3- to 4-foot spread, Hilda Niblett is invaluable as a ground cover or for restricted-space gardens, patio planters or Bonsai training. Zones 5-8

 

 

Nico Red (Japanese) -20º

This unique azalea is probably the reddest RED that you will ever see.  It flowers so heavily that it completely covers the plant each spring.

 

Rosebud (Gable) -15º

This Gable selection has exquisite rose-like flowers that are a very soft pastel pink.  The flowers are double hose-in-hose, very much resembling miniature roses, on a low growing plant spreading to 4 feet.  This combination is very rare in a hardy evergreen azalea making this plant a "must have".  Rosebud blooms in late May to early June.