Western azalea
(Rhododendron occidentale)

Plant Profile

An inhabitant of moist thickets and streambanks in the mountains and foothills of California and Oregon, Western azalea is one of our most beloved native shrubs. The showy flower clusters, with their spicy fragrance, are a delight to all. Many hybrid azaleas owe part of their ancestry to this West Coast native.

Western Azalea is a mult-stemmed, deciduous shrub, growing up to 15 feet in height. The funnel-shaped flowers vary in color from white to rose, with the upper lobe attractively blotched with yellow. In April to July, when in bloom, clusters of flowers decorate the shrub and perfume the air.


This native can take full sun, especially on the coast, but looks especially nice when planted in a woodland setting with rhododendrons and evergreens. Be sure to provide well drained, moist, acid soil, or the plant won't thrive. Prune after flowering to shape, restrain growth and keep from getting leggy.

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California Native Plant Society - North Coast Chapter
P.O. Box 1067 Arcata, CA 95518-1067
Last updated February 4, 1997