The genus Rhododendron consists of native azaleas (which are deciduous) and native evergreen plants commonly referred to as rhododendrons. The smallest of the evergreen rhododendrons is one called Rhododendron minus. It looks a bit like a native azalea but it has leaves that stay on the plant all winter, with fresh ones emerging in the spring.
I enjoy finding it in natural areas in May and June and have been delighted recently to find it in the metro Atlanta area in several locations: Blue Heron Nature Preserve and the Vickery Creek Trail at Roswell Mill. I’ve also seen it at Providence Canyon State Park in southwest Georgia and at FDR State Park in middle Georgia.
Last week I went to Vickery Creek to see the blooms and my timing was perfect. The range in bloom color is pale pink, almost white, to deep pink. Some of the blooms are arranged in perfect spheres while others are more loosely held.
|FDR State Park|
You might find my blog about Rhododendron maximum interesting too. Known as the great laurel, it usually blooms about a month later.