P is for Pinkster Azalea

 

Pinkster Azalea shrubNo, human readers, all azaleas are not ornamentals. And we daresay the native Pinkster Azalea, Rhododendron periclymenoides, is the most beautiful azalea around. It’s a deciduous shrub that lives at the woods’ edge and has the most stunning pink flowers Miz Flora has ever laid eyes on.

Pinkster Azalea flower

Pinkster azalea flower stamens

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One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

This is a relative of rhododendron, as one of our readers guessed. Pinkster Flower, Rhododendron periclymenoides, or Pinkster Azalea as it’s sometimes mis-named, is native to our woodlands and just like its rhododendron relative, it prefers things a bit moist.

Pinkster Flower, Pinkster Azalea

Unlike them, the leaves do drop, which is why Ms. Flora thinks so many humans refer to it as an azalea. We’re seeing these show flowers at the edge of woods, bright spots among the green.

Pinkster Flower, Pinkster Azalea

They don’t have a scent, so you’ll just have to look for them!