Azaleas are flowering shrubs comprising two of the eight subgenera of the genus Rhododendron, Tsutsuji (evergreen) and Pentanthera (deciduous). Azaleas bloom in spring in the Northern hemisphere and in winter in the Southern hemisphere, their flowers often lasting several weeks. Shade tolerant, they prefer living near or under trees. Azaleas differ from rhododendrons in being generally smaller and having one blossom per stem rather than blossom clusters. They have more seeds in the fruit Plant enthusiasts have selectively bred azaleas for hundreds of years. This human selection has produced over 10,000 different cultivars which are propagated by cuttings. Azalea seeds can also be collected and germinated. Azaleas are generally slow-growing and do best in well-drained acidic soil (4.56.0 pH). Fertilizer needs are low; some species need regular pruning. Azaleas are native to several continents including Asia, Europe and North America.
Contributions by Figtab, Apothecia, and MPF.