quinquefolium AGM

Rhododendron quinquefolium

Subgenus Pentanthera Section Sciadorhodion

Species deciduous azalea

Synonym: The Cork Azalea - due to the corky nature of the bark

Epithet: Leaves in fives

AM 1931 (Cawdor, Haslemere),flowers white, spotted pale green

AM 1958 (Exbury),‘Five Arrows’, flowers white with olive green spots

AGM 1993


Shrub or small tree, 1.2-7.6m in height in the wild but smaller in cultivation reaching about 2.5-3.5m

Flowers: Trusses of 1-3 rotate-campanulate, single flowers, produced with the leaves from the same terminal bud. Flowers are 23-28mm long × 30-43mm wide; pure white with green spots; 10 stamens

April – May

Not scented

Foliage: Pale green leaves, often with a red-purple margin, in pseudowhorls of 4-5 at the end of the branchlets; widely obovate, oval or widely elliptic. Leaves are 10-58mm long × 6-36mm wide; upper surface glabrous, midrib pubescent, margin ciliate, underside pubescent towards the base or glabrous. Attractive leaves with a pink/red edge on opening turning a rich ruby red in autumn. Deciduous

Distribution: Honshu and Shikoku, Japan 300-1700m

Other information: Suitable for most gardens with acid soil but needs a sheltered position to thrive, especially when young. A plant for the more experienced grower. Commercially available

Number 47 of the Top 100 Rhododendrons chosen by members of the RCM Group in 2015

Location: Hanby Garden, Branford, Ct, USA
Photo: Philippe de Spoelberch

Location: Hanby Garden, Connecticut, USA 

Photo: Philippe de Spoelberch

Location: N W England

Ted Brabin

R. quinquefolium 'Five Arrows'

Location: Exbury Gardens

Photo: Polly Cooke