Botanical Name: Rhododendron canescens ‘Phlox Pink’
Common Name: Phlox Pink Azalea, Mountain Azalea, Wild Azalea, Honeysuckle Azalea, Piedmont Azalea, Sweet Azalea, Hoary Azalea, Southern Pinxterflower
Description: This is just one of our beautiful Florida native azaleas.
Phlox pink azalea is a deciduous flowering shrub. Its showy pink/white/rose colored flowers are trumpet-shaped with noticeably protruding stamens and pistils. They are borne around the same time that the first leaves appear and are particularly fragrant. Leaves are obovate, hairy, and alternately arranged. The leaves turn a burgundy red in the fall.
It blooms in spring and occurs naturally in pine flatwoods, mesic hammocks, bay swamps, and floodplain and slope forests. It attracts a number of pollinators, including hummingbirds. This one is easy to grow in part sun to shade in moist but well drained acidic soils. Early spring brings the fragrant and gorgeous white and pink flowers. If shaping is needed, do it asap after flowering so you don’t cut off next year’s flower buds. Grows 10-12′ tall and wide. Please do not prune this into a square or round ball, let it grow to its full natural beauty. Blooms show up before the leaves break dormancy. Sweet pinxter azalea works well as a specimen plant, in a mass planting or naturalistic landscape, and in containers. Young plants may appear straggly but will fill in and spread out as they mature. It will not tolerate dense clay or poorly drained soil. It has shallow roots, so be sure to mulch.
Phlox pink azalea is ideal for a mass planting in woodland or naturalized area. Add it to a pollinator garden where its showy, fragrant flowers will attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Or use it in a shrub border or as an attractive hedge to line a walkway.
This plant in the 3-gallon containers is 2-4′ tall, not including the container.
Plant Lore: The genus name derives from the Greek words rhodo, which means rose, and dendron, meaning tree. The specific epithet canescens means gray or off-white hairs refering to the hairs found on the undersides of the leaves.
Florida Hardiness Zones 8 – 9