Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Deciduous
Light Requirements: part-sun, part-shade
Water Use: medium
Soil Moisture: moist, wet
Soil Description: acid, rich, average, loam, sand
Bloom Time: April, May
Bloom Color: white, pink
Leaf Color: blue-green
Hardiness Zone: 7, 8
Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts birds, colonizing, deer resistant, fragrant flowers, naturalizing, poisonous, rock garden plant, shade garden plant
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Rhododendron atlanticumAlso known as:
Coastal azalea is a low growing, deciduous shrub that rarely growing taller than 4', hence it also goes by the name 'dwarf azalea'. This species can be distinguished by its blue-green foliage. Flowers are funnel-shaped, elongated, delicate, white with pink hues and have a pleasant, distinct fragrance reminiscent of clove. These appear in mid-spring, before or at the same time as the new foliage emerges.
Native to the coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic, Rhododendron atlanticum is an understory shrub. It does best in well drained, sandy, acidic soil in part sun. Because of its preference for sandy soil, and bog-like environments, supplemental watering may be required during dry spells. It spreads by means of stolons, or underground stems, to form large colonies. Heavier soil will restrict its spread. Blooms in spring: April and May. Zones 7-8
Easy to propagate by root division, or by digging up and separating suckers from mature plants. Can be propagated from seed. This is best achieved in a light, soilless medium, and in sealed containers to retain consistent moisture until germination.
Given the appropriate growing requirements, this species is low maintenance, easy to grow, and very rewarding. It is underutilized and certainly worthy of more commercial attention. As with all rhododendrons, all parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested in large quantities. Individual reactions can be severe. This does however make certain species deer resistant.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
DC, DE, GA, MD, NC, NJ, PA, SC, VA
USDA Endangered Status:
- Endangered: NJ, PA
|Species||Rhododendron atlanticum||coastal azalea|