Rhododendron serpyllifolium

Subgenus Tsutsusi Section Tsutsusi

Species evergreen azalea

Epithet: With leaves like Thymus serpyllum


Low, much branched spreading shrub eventually reaching 0.75-1.2m tall

Flowers: One or rarely two small single flowers per inflorescence. Flowers are funnel-shaped, about 17mm across, rose-pink or white; 5 stamens


Not scented

Foliage: Leaves are 3-10mm long × 3-5mm wide, obovate-oblong to elliptic; scattered brown hairs on the upper surface and mainly on the midrib on the lower surface. Leaves are monomorphic and semi-deciduous

Distribution: Central and southern Japan at 300-900m growing on volcanic soil

Other Information: This is a distinct species with no close allies. The white form is sometimes called R. serpyllifolium var. albiflorum.  Both the pink form and the white form are easy to grow and commercially available

Photo: Yuji Kurashige

Location: Surrey

Photo: Polly Cooke

Photo and Location: Caerhays Estate

Photo and Location: Caerhays Estate