Royal Azalea is an upright, densely branched, deciduous shrub that is native to Korea, Manchuria, and Japan. It typically grows to 4 to 6 feet tall (sometimes to as much as 15 feet tall). There are 3 to 6 large, funnel-shaped flowers per inflorescence. Flower color ranges from pale pink to rose-pink or white, spotted red-brown on the 3 upper lobes. Flowers can be almost 3 1/2 inches across.
The fragrant flowers bloom in clusters at the branch ends in April to May as the leaves emerge. The leaves are arranged in distinctive whorls of 5 at the end of the branchlets. Autumn foliage turns attractive shades of yellow, orange, or crimson. The plant is hardy to -25°F (-32°C), slow growing to 4 feet in 10 years. It prefers less acid soil than most rhododendrons.
This species was introduced to the west when it was discovered in Korea in 1854 by a Russian naval officer, Baron von Schlippenbach, for whom it is named. Its natural range extends from Korea into bordering parts of Manchuria and Russia. It is one of the commonest shrubs in Korea, being the dominant undergrowth plant in some forests. During June, these areas are transformed into vast drifts of pink.
According to Cox, “Rhododendron Schlippenbachii is one of the finest azalea species, with attractive foliage, good autumn color, and large handsome flowers."
Other Names: Royal Azalea Zone: 4 to 6 Growth Rate: Slow Plant Type: Deciduous Flowering Shrub Family: Ericaceae Native Range: China, Japan, and Korea Height: 6 to 8 feet Spread: 6 to 8 feet Shape: Upright rounded shrub Bloom Time: April - May Bloom Color: White tinged with pink Flower/Fruit: Fragrant 3 1/2 inch pale pink flowers Sun: Part Shade Fall Color: Shade of yellow, orange, or crimson. Drought Tolerance: Low Water: Medium Maintenance: Medium
Quantity: Royal Azalea | Rhododendron Schlippenbachii Seeds