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Do You Know This Flower?

Do You Know this Flower?

The Answer: Azalea

Azaleas are flowering shrubs making up part of the genus Rhododendron.

One major difference between azaleas and the rest of the rhododendron genus is their size. Another is their flower growth; rhododendrons grow their flowers in stripers, while most azaleas have terminal blooms (one flower per flower stem). However, they have so many stems that during the flowering season they are a solid mass of color. Azaleas are recognized by these flowers blooming all at once, in a showy display for a month or two in spring. The exception to this rule is a small group of azaleas which grow their flowers in tight terminal clusters.

Plant enthusiasts have hybridized azaleas for hundreds of years. This human genetic modification has produced over 10,000 different cultivars which are propagated by cuttings. Azalea seeds can also be collected and germinated.

Azaleas grow best in well-drained soil or in plant pots in a cool, shady position. They are easily damaged by excessive soil moisture and grow best in acidic soil (4.5 - 6.0 pH)[2]. Fertilizer is optional, although some species do need regular pruning.

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"Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world."

Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844



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