When does this bloom?
Where does this bloom?
305.2, 342-343, 349-351, 419-424
The Pinkshell is a deciduous azalea. An unusual characteristic of the Pinkshell is that the petals are joined at the base, forming two lips, one with three petals, the other with two. The flower is typically pink but can vary from white to red in different individuals. The flowers appear before the leaves (typically around May) and have 5 to 7 stamens. The upper lobes range from spotted red, pink, green or brown. The leaves of the Pinkshell are elliptic to elliptic oblong and have small hairs around the edges of the leaf (ciliate). When grown in enough sunlight, the leaves turn into a beautiful red color in the fall.
George Vasey, a botanist in charge of the United States National Herbarium in 1878, discovered this species and subsequently had it named after him. It is found in nature only in six counties in the mountains of western North Carolina. It is now widely cultivated due to its hardiness (to -15°F) and because it is much easier to grow and is much larger (up to 15 feet tall) than its closest cousin (R. canadense).
This shrub is commercially grown and makes an excellent garden plant.