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Rhodo vs Azalea

Peanuts3Peanuts3 Posts: 759

Apologies, I'm sure there is an easy answer to this, but what is the difference between a rhododendron and an azalea ?  I thought it was if they had small leaves - azalea big leaves then a rhodo, but now completely confused.  Any answers ? 


  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ...very interesting Edd and thank you for that.... what I find is that people are still using the old nomenclature, including Garden Centre's... I don't often see the Azalea referred to as Rhododendron.... I grow several of both and there's no way I'm going to call my Azalea 'Mother's Day'... Rhododendron 'Muder Dag'... either... me, Azalea's have a distinct enough shape and growth habit, for me to continue to separate them out... we don't always have to go by what officialdom would like us to....

  • I never knew that either but often wondered!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,184

    Thanks Edd - that is really helpful image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,184

    Mike, do you remember the tv programme Geoffrey Smith's World of Flowers where he took us all over the world to find the origins of our garden plants - he was such an interesting man. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Mmm could be entirely wrong - but thought Rhododendrons and Azaleas had been reclassified by the powers-that-be in the world of horticulture and now appear under the Rhododendron umbrella.  Hope I am not talking complete nonsense here, all clarifications welcomed

    By the way, talking of such things, I wonder if anyone has been to the Himalayan Garden, Grewelthorpe, Masham, N. Yorks.  A small garden in progress with lakes only open to the public for about 6 weeks in spring, difficult to get the timing for blooms right but well worth a visit if in the area. 


  • Hi Mike, your clarification on Rhododendrons/Azales was most useful, thanks

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