Rhododendron viscosum - Clammy Azalea


Clammy azalea is a loose, open, deciduous shrub growing to 12 ft. in width, but averaging only about 5 ft. tall. The leaves, clustered at the end of branches, are 1 1/2–3 1/2 inches long and 5/8–1 1/2 inches wide, deciduous, lustrous, green on both sides, with short stems. The sweet-scented flowers are white, with a lavender tube slightly enlarged at the base, 1 1/4–1 3/4 inches long with 5 narrow, petal-like spreading lobes. The 5 stamens are extended. Fall foliage is orange to maroon.This typical wetland shrub is sometimes called the Clammy Azalea because of its very sticky corolla. The species name means sticky in Latin. The flowers appear after the leaves. Another white wetland species of more southern distribution, the Smooth Azalea (R. arborescens), has smooth twigs, leaves without hairs, and red stamens. Dwarf Azalea (R. atlanticum), with white or pink fragrant flowers on a shrub 3-4 (90-120 cm) tall, is common in deep and along the coastal plain from southern New Jersey to South Carolina.