Rhododendron schlippenbachii

Subgenus Pentanthera Section Sciadorhodion

Species deciduous azalea

Synonym: The Royal azalea

Epithet: After Baron A von Schlippenbach, a Russian naval officer and traveller

AM 1896 (Veitch) flowers soft pink; FCC 1944 (Bodnant) flowers pink; FCC 1965 (Leonardslee) ‘Prince Charming’ flowers pink with darker tinges, spotted deep crimson


A shrub or small tree growing to 1-5m in height

Flowers: Trusses of 3-6 rotate funnel-shaped, single flowers, opening just before or at the same time as the leaves. Flowers are 30-40mm long × 56-80mm wide; pale to rose pink or white, spotted red-brown


Sometimes lightly scented

Foliage: In pseudowhorls of 5 dark green leaves with a pale green underside, at the end of the branchlets. Leaves are obovate, 50-88mm long × 30-68mm wide; glabrous, midrib pubescent. Good autumn leaf colour. Deciduous

Distribution: Korea and the Korean archipelago, bordering parts of Russia and Japan 400-1800m

Other Information: After flowering this azalea could be confused with R. nipponicum which also has large leaves however, the leaves on R. nipponicum are arranged alternately on the stems

Easy to grow; needs some shelter but will tolerate less acid soil than many rhododendrons; commercially available

Number 12 of the Top 100 Rhododendrons chosen by members of the RCM Group in 2015

Photo: Ivor Stokes

Photo: Ivor Stokes

Location and Photo: Caerhays Estate

Location and Photo: Caerhays Estate