Swamp Azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)

May Lattanzio

Joined February 2008

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Artist's Description

Known as Swamp Honeysuckle, Clammy Azalea.

A graceful, open tree that grows along stream margins in northwest Florida and native to the southeast. The flowers are intensely fragrant and similar honeysuckle, hence the nickname. They are not related to the Loniceras.

This tree is approximately 8’ tall and grows in my yard in Bayou George, FL. It was grown from a cutting rescued from the roadside after a bulldozer went through and destroyed a grove of them along a county road in Southport, FL.

Some are white; however, those that I have seen in northwest Florida are typical of the ones shown here. Those that grow in the woodlands in the vicinity are taller than 8’ tall and often overhang the creekbanks.

Years ago my friend who also loves this tree and I drove to see them in bloom along the county road, near Pitt Spring. A bulldozer had scoured all of the trees growing on the roadside bank. We were heartbroken. We took some pieces – about a foot long – and tried to root them. Mine took. It is now about 10 feet tall and is happily blooming and filling the air with its fragrance in the spring. The secret was to keep its “feet” moist. The rain has a natural trail around the house and down past the tree on the “dog trail” along the fence. It is magnificent.

Artwork Comments

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