Flame Azalea Facts
- Perhaps most notably, the mesmerizing Flame Azalea stands out for its exquisite beauty. That occurs partly due to its famous, among Nature lovers, wonderful large, showy, funnel-shaped flowers.
- Amazingly, however, these incredible flowers 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.
- However, its great beauty conceals a dark secret. All parts of it evolved as highly toxic. In fact, its toxicity is 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 grows much larger than related varieties. In fact, some specimens attain heights of up to 12 ft (3.65 m).
However, its impressive physical statistics do not end there. Because of its growth patterns, individual plants often measure as much in width as they do in height. Therefore, it develops a rather impressive appearance.
In addition, its foliage typically develops as an impressive dark green. Meanwhile, the flowers vary in color across a range of shades of orange and red. These numerous flowers 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 United States, in North America. That restricted territorial range consists solely of the southern portions of the Appalachian Mountains.
But, 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. Further, for reasons that remain undetermined, the plant appears to be a particular favorite of the Golden Northern Bumblebee.