Here Come the Azaleas

azalea

One minute we get used to the fact that winter is over and spring is finally here. The next thing we know, late spring blooms are popping out in our forests! Here’s a shrub with pretty pink blossoms that’s now coming into flower in our upland woodlands. Azaleas are members of the heath family, along with blueberry, sourwood, mountain laurel, rhododendron, and others. Actually, azaleas ARE rhododendrons — they’re the deciduous members of the genus. The shrubs that we think of as rhododendrons are evergreen. There’s just one isolated spot on the Domain where the evergreen rhodos grow wild, but  azaleas are found throughout the plateau-top forests.

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