Flame Azalea Facts
- Perhaps most notably, the mesmerizing Flame Azalea stands out from the majority of related species for its exquisite beauty. That occurs partly due to its famous, among Nature lovers, wonderful large, showy, funnel-shaped flowers. These truly sets the variety apart.
- Amazingly, however, these incredible flowers conceal a few remarkable secrets. For one, these blooms actually develop almost entirely without scent. Among similar related species, this stands out as a surprising difference, given the strong fragrance of the others.
- Further, its beautifully colored blooms sometimes actually appear either before the leaves do, or simultaneously with the leaves and the flowers. Very few flowering plants display that tendency. This represent yet another manner in which it distinguishes itself.
- However, its great beauty conceals one more secret, and in this case, it’s a rather dark secret. That holds true due to the fact that all parts of the gorgeous Flame Azalea evolved as highly toxic. In fact, its toxicity remains so great, honey produced by bees from these plants may be fatal to humans.
Flame Azalea Physical Description
First of all, the stunning Flame Azalea represents a rather beautiful upright-branched deciduous shrub. Furthermore, it generally, under favorable conditions, attains a much larger physical size than related varieties. In fact, some specimens of the impressive species attain heights of up to 12 ft (3.65 m).
However, its impressive physical statistics do not simply end with its mere height. That’s because, due to its somewhat unique growth patterns, individual plants often measure as much in width as they do in height. Therefore, the remarkable work of Nature develops a rather impressive appearance.
In addition, the lovely foliage of the magnificent Flame Azalea typically develops as an impressive dark green. Meanwhile, the copious numbers of flowers it produces vary in color across a range of shades of orange and red. These numerous flowers also typically develop in clusters of five or more.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Ericales
- Family: Ericaceae
- Genus: Rhododendron
- Species: R. calendulaceum
Flame Azalea Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Firstly, the magnificent Flame Azalea evolved as native to a rather specific region of the world. That area consists solely of a small portion of the United States, in North America. Further, that restricted territorial range consists only of the southern portions of the Appalachian Mountains.
But, even there, it has highly specific requirements. This holds true because it most commonly appears in the numerous grassy balds that dot the surrounding region. There it makes a striking visual display. In addition, though somewhat less commonly, it also appears in areas of woodland.
Also, like most members of the heath family, this amazing beauty grows most prolifically in acidic soil. This trait helps it thrive in otherwise inhospitable regions. Further, for reasons that remain undetermined, the plant appears to be a particular favorite of the Golden Northern Bumblebee.