Rhododendron luteum
Pentanthera subgenus,
Pentanthera section
Syn: Common yellow azalea, Pontic azalea
Epithet: yellow.
Introduced: 1792 by Pallas from the Caucasus
AM1930, AGM (1993, 2002) 2012
Vigorous deciduous stoloniferous shrub.
Height to 3.6m
10 year height/spread: 2m/1.8m
Flowers: 7-17 flowered; flowers appear before the leaves; tubular funnel-shaped, c38mm long,
45-50mm across, bright yellow with darker blotch; fragrance strong, sweet.
May - June
Foliage: linear-oblong to oblong-oblanceolate, 50-146 x 13-42mm, upper and lower surfaces pubescent at first,
becoming glabrous apart from glandular bristles.
Distribution (0-2300m):
Caucasus: Turkey and adjacent areas,
with isolated populations in Poland and Slovenia.
R. luteum is the most commonly cultivated deciduous azalea
species in Europe and it is naturalised in parts of Britain,
though this is not proving troublesome, unlike R. ponticum. In much of Europe it is a first rate garden plant, popular for its ease of cultivation, its showy, yellow, scented flowers and its splendid red, orange to purple autumn colour.
Recognise by: the only sparsely pubescent or glandular capsule; the flower colour and fragrance;
the stamens 1.5 to 2 times as long as the corolla.

Photo: Chris Callard