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Deciduous shrub or small tree, to 5 m; young shoots densely covered with gland-tipped hairs. Leaves 4.7-10 x 2.1-3.9 cm, ovate or obovate to elliptic, lower surface densely covered with unicellular hairs sometimes also with multicellular gland-tipped hairs. Flower bud scales with outer surface covered with unicellular hairs, margin glandular. Pedicels covered with unicellular and gland-tipped multicellular hairs. Flowers with a musky-sweet fragrance, appearing before or with the leaves; calyx 1-2 mm; corolla yellow to orange with a dark pink, funnelform, tube gradually expanding into limb, both surfaces densely covered in unicellular hairs, outer surface also with gland-tipped multicellular hairs, 28-45 mm. Capsules covered with unicellular and multicellular gland-tipped hairs. Flowering March-April(-May). Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
Distribution United States S
Habitat s.l.-100 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H5
Awards AGM 1993
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
Taxonomic note This species resembles R. canescens morphologically but differs in its consistently glandular bud scale margins, etc. Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
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, 11⁄2 to 31⁄2 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 1⁄4 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 3⁄4 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.