Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Shades of pink

Did you know that all azaleas are rhododendrons but not all rhododendrons are azaleas?
(Ok some of you with green thumbs probably did but being rather unknowledgeable about plants I didn't).

Both 'azalea' and 'rhododendron' come up as translations of the Japanese tsutsuji. Thank goodness for the internet!
What is the difference between Rhododendrons and Azaleas?**
* Rhododendrons have ten or more stamens, while Azaleas have five.
* Rhododendrons have large, paddle-shaped leaves and large, bell- or funnel-shaped flowers borne in terminal trusses. Azaleas have small, elliptical leaves and trumpet- or tubular-shaped flowers at the ends of the shoots.
* Rhododendrons are erect, growing up to 80 feet high, while Azaleas are more twiggy, spreading bushes, usually reaching a height of no more than 8 feet.
* Both Rhododendrons and Azaleas provide fragrant blossoms in an array of colors - from pure white and light pastels to brilliant orange and gold to purple and red. Some blossoms change color over time or are marked with contrasting colors.
Other interesting facts about rhododendrons:**
* There are around 1000 species/varieties of Rhododendrons.
* Rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal, and the state flower of Sikkim in India.
* All the parts of Rhododendrons are dangerous, especially leaves, showing symptoms of Stomach irritation, abdominal pain, abnormal heart rate and rhythm, convulsions, coma, death. Honey made from the nectar of Rhododendron flowers is also toxic and should not be consumed.
**Taken from The Flower Expert. Click on the link for more information.
Pictures taken at the
Koishikawa Botanical Garden on April 21, 2007.


  1. You are a font of information! I've seen these flowers before, but didn't know that they were rhododendrons. Now I do (and I can impress my husband with my new found knowledge). Thanks.

  2. How beautiful!! I love the azaleas and rhododendrons that make this area (and your area!)so spectacular in the spring, but I didn't know all those details. Very interesting, thanks!

  3. I had no idea! And, quite coincidentally, I have a Rhoddie right next to an Azalea. The Azalea has already bloomed, but the Rhoddie is just on the verge. I can hardly wait! Thank you for the horticulture lesson. :)

  4. Kookiejar,
    You're welcome! Hope he was impressed. :P

    The internet is wonderful, isn't it? The azaleas/rhododendrons are all looking pretty droopy and sad around here now though.

    Glad you enjoyed the 'lesson'. :)
    Looking forward to your pics.

    Happy Reader,
    Thanks. :)

  5. Nope, I sure didn't know that! But, then, I'm not so much a person with a green thumb as a person who is willing to attempt things. I kill as many plants as I grow. LOL Thanks for sharing that with us! Very cool!
    And, I'll avoid eating any rhododendrons.

  6. Nancy,
    Being willing to attempt things is half the battle though. It's only since I started blogging and putting my pictures up that I've been trying to pay attention to what things are called. Before it was just, 'oh that's pretty!' You're doing a good job identifying the critters you've been taking pics of.

  7. Oh, thanks, Nat. I just ordered some more Audubon guides, today. Same here - I really didn't pay attention to names until I started blogging and realized how much I didn't know!! It's so fun learning about all the flora and fauna, isn't it?


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