Rhododendron occidentale (Western Azalea)
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Plant Description: A small to medium sized shrub with many slender branches and a beautiful, lacey silhouette. Glossy green leaves are oblong with entire leaf margins. Western azalea is deciduous and, in the autumn, leaves turn yellow, scarlet, or crimson before dropping. White or pale pink, extremely fragrant flowers grow in corymbs (clusters) of 5-20 and have five showy petals with the uppermost splashed with orange on the inside, signaling pollinators. Long stamens protrude out of the trumpet shaped throat. Blooms in the spring. Fruit is a capsule occurring in clusters.
- Height: 3-13 ft
- Width: 3-13 ft
- Watering needs: Consistent moisture
- Sun needs: Sun to partial shade
- Soil needs: Grows in well-draining, moist, rich, acidic soil. Found in riparian habitats.
- Bloom Time: May-June
Landscape Use and Ecological Function: This Willamette Valley native is found in moist riparian habitats such as bogs and stream banks as well as in coniferous forests in elevations under 7500 ft. It occurs from Oregon throughout California.
We recommend growing this plant in meadowscapes. Not only is a wonderful addition to landscaped environments due to its aesthetic appearance, it also provides habitat.
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