Rhododendron Varieties

Rhododendron is also called azalea and is from the heath family. It is the genus rhododendron spp. There are over 3,000 rhododendron varieties, usually fragrantly flowered and prolific in blooms. Rhododendron comes in different shapes and sizes depending on which cultivar is chosen.

Chapman's Azalea

Chapman's azalea, or rhododendron chapmanii, is also known as Chapman's rhododendron. This shrub grows 4 to 10 feet tall, and the same in width. It has leaves that are dark green, elliptic, leathery, and one to two inches in length. Flowers are rosy pink and funnel shaped. Blooms are in clusters and are generally two inches wide. Plant in filtered sun in moist acidic soil. Propagate via seed or cuttings. It is hardy from USDA hardiness zones of seven to nine.

Pinxter Azalea

Pinxter azalea, or rhododendron canescens, is also known as wild azalea. They grow between 6 to 15 feet tall, and the same in width. Leaves are generally one to three inches long. Flowers are pink, tubular and two to three inches long. Plant this variety in moist acidic soil with partial to full shade or even in full sun. Propagate via clump division or cuttings. It is hardy from USDA hardiness zones of six to nine.

Plumleaf Azalea

Plumleaf azalea, or rhododendron prunifolium, can grow from 10 to 15 feet tall. Leaves are two to four inches long. Flowers aren't fragrant, funnel shaped, and bloom in pink, orange, red, or salmon colors. Plant this variety in moist acidic soil with morning sun and afternoon shade or full shade. Propagate via seed, tip cuttings, or semi-ripe cuttings. It is hardy from USDA hardiness zones of five to nine.

Florida Flame Azalea

Florida flame azalea, or rhododendron austrinum, is also known as deciduous azalea or flame azalea. It is a fragrant shrub that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. It can grow 6 to 8 feet tall and two feet in width. Flowers are one and a half inches to two inches long, yellow and in clusters. Leaves are two inches to five inches long and medium green in color. Plant this azalea in partial sun or in shade with lightly acidic soil. Propagate via seed or clump division. It is hardy in USDA hardiness zones of six to ten.

Keywords: rhododendron, azalea, rhododendron varieties

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years, concentrating on health and gardening topics, and a writer for 20 years. She has written for "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living," and "Mature Years," as well as online content. She has one book, “A Georgia Native Plant Guide,” offered through Mercer University; others are in development.