Rhododendron prinophyllum

Subgenus Pentanthera Section Pentanthera

Species deciduous azalea

Synonym: Rhododendron roseum

Epithet: With leaves like prinos*

AM 1955 (Tower Court, Mrs R M Stevenson) as R. roseum; flowers: pink

FCC 1981 (Anne, Countess of Rosse and National Trust, Nymans) to a clone ‘Philip Holmes’: white flushed pink


A small to medium sized shrub 0.6-4.5m in height

Flowers: Trusses of 5-9 tubular funnel-shaped, single flowers opening with the leaves. Flowers are 28-35mm long × 30-38mm wide; pink or purplish-pink, rarely white, with or without brown-red blotch; stamens twice as long as corolla tube


Clove scented

Foliage: Bluish-green or green leaves, elliptic, obovate or oblong-obovate, 30-87mm long × 12-37mm wide; upper surface, villous; margin strigose; underside pale green, rather densely villous, strigose. Deciduous

Distribution: SW Quebec, through Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, SE Missouri and Tennessee to Virginia, not onto the coastal plain, grows in woodland, by streams and on hillsides

Other information: * Prinos is the genus for some species of North American Holly assigned by Linnaeus, now classified under Ilex. In 1914, the American botanist Page noticed a similarity in the leaf shape between the Hollies in the genus Prinos and the leaves on this azalea; phyllum or phyllon is Greek for leaf. Hence prinophyllum

Has been associated with R. periclymenoides but there are marked differences between the two species, notably but not exclusively, in the young growth and winter flower buds

An easy to grow, upright deciduous azalea which is commercially available

Location: West Virginia, USA

Photo: Philippe de Spoelberch

Location: Finland

Kristian Theqvist

Location: Valley Gardens, Windsor
Photo: Bryan Roebuck