In Bloom

Blooming Now…

Florida Flame Azalea

Rhododendron austrinum


It looks more like a honeysuckle than an azalea.  It’s deciduous and because of that, the native azaleas (yes, they’re actually native Rhododendrons) are often overlooked, but they are spectacular additions to the garden.  Most are slow growing to about 10’ tall and prefer a moist but well-drained location in partial shade.  Some direct sun increases bloom count. 

Rhododendron canescens – Piedmont or pinkster azalea.  Shell pink (occasionally white) flowers in the spring and grows to 8’ tall.  Same growing conditions as above.

Rhododendron flammeum – Oconee azalea.  Bright orange to yellowish orange spring flowers with similar size and growing conditions as above.

Rhododendron prunifolium – Plumleaf azalea.  Deep orange red flowers in mid to late summer.  Same growing conditions again, but this one can reach 20’ tall.

Got bees?  Don’t plant these!  All parts of the plant are toxic including the pollen.

The result is “Mad Honey”.  Supposedly, it’s the most expensive honey you can buy.  It produces hallucinations and feelings of euphoria but… a little too much and it causes vomiting, severe diarrhea, loss of consciousness, seizures and rarely death.

In 67 B.C., a Persian army was fleeing the Romans near the Black Sea.  They left pots of mad honey for the Romans to find.  They ate it and became so disoriented they could not fight.  The Persians returned and killed 1000 Roman soldiers with little loss of their own men.  Just a little piece of trivia that you’ll never need!

Jim Crowder -Nursery Manager





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