Azalea Blossom Watch #2

Azalea Blossom Watch #2

APRIL 23, 2014

Spring is slowly unfolding at the National Arboretum. We are still about two weeks behind our usual sequence. There are several azaleas in bloom that always bloom early along with the daffodils and dogwoods. Rhododendron kaempferi (the Torch Azalea) and R. poukhanense (the Yodogawa Azalea) are two azalea species used in the breeding of early blooming azaleas used to extend the season of azalea bloom earlier. Examples blooming today are ‘Corsage’, ‘Lilacina’, ‘Vicki’ and ‘Kinshibe’.

The Weston hybrids have started to bloom this week. Weston’s ‘Landmark’ is one to see with its striking deep magenta flowers and dark burgundy evergreen foliage. The Nearing hybrid, ‘Montchanin’ is lovely with clusters of tiny pale pink flowers and dark evergreen leaves. Both plants are located along the trail entering the Azalea Collections from the end of the Flowering Tree Walk where the Capitol Columns Overlook and the new Grass Roots exhibits are located.

The Kurume hybrids are about to open any day, as are the Glenn Dale hybrids located on the south side of Mt. Hamilton. One only need look closely to see colorful buds and a few opened flowers.  Several warm, sunny days will encourage more and more flowering. We hope to see you in the garden.

Barbara Bullock, Curator of Azaleas & Rhododendrons
U. S. National Arboretum


Peak bloom is predicted to be the end of April/beginning of May.

Read the first installment of the Azalea Blossom Watch.


  1. W. Smith says:

    It would be truly helpful if someone could give the interested public some idea of what percentage of the bushes are now in bloom. The blooming hybrids mentioned above may only constitute 5% of the plants as far as we non-experts know: we have hymned the azaleas to some old friends, and would like to bring them down when most of the plants are in bloom.

    • Hannah Urrey says:

      We are still slated for peak bloom at the end of April/early May (i.e. right about now) as predicted in the first installation of this year’s blossom watch. This weekend will be a perfect time to visit!

      We will post another blossom watch as soon as it is available!
      Thanks for your interest.

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