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What Is the Meaning of Azaleas?

Azalea image by fabiomarc from

Azaleas are flowering shrubs that are part of the Rhododendron genus. Deciduous azaleas are in the Pentanthera subgenus, and evergreen azaleas in the Tsutsusi subgenus. There are more than 10,000 different cultivars of these flowers, coming in many different colors, including purple, white, yellow, orange, red, reddish-orange and pink. As with the majority of flowers, there is symbolism and meaning attached to azaleas.

Primary Meanings

In China, the meaning behind azaleas is womanhood. The Chinese believe that azaleas are symbols of womanhood and temperance. In other parts of the world, the azalea is thought to symbolize the concepts of fragility and passion.

Chinese Culture

Although in China the azalea is associated with being a symbol of womanhood, it also means "the thinking home bush," which is "xiang shu" in Chinese. This means that it is a shrub that represents thoughtfulness and pensiveness.The azalea was made famous by the Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu who vibrantly detailed them in some of his works, such as "A Sea of Blood Red Azaleas."

Girl's Name

Azalea is also a name for girls. The girl's name Azalea is of Greek origin, and means "dry." This is because the azalea is a flowering shrub that blooms during the spring and thrives in dry soil. The name came about in the 1700s.

City Symbol

The azalea is a symbol for several different cities around the United States and the planet. The azalea is a symbol for Wilmington, North Carolina; Valdosta, Georgia; and Sao Paolo, Brazil. Azalea festivals are also held in many cities, such as Motoyama, Japan; Muskogee, Oklahoma; Dothan, Alabama; Mobile, Alabama; South Gate, California; Norfolk, Virginia; Charleston, Missouri; Palatka, Florida; and Pickens, South Carolina.


Apart from all of its other meanings, azaleas also have strong astrological significance. Azaleas are considered to be a symbol of the Sagittarius sign, which is the ninth sign in the zodiac (Nov. 22 to Dec. 22).

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