Go Native—Grow Native

Submitted by Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Chapter, Virginia Native Plant Society

Pinxterbloom azalea, Rhododendron periclymenoides:

As I write in mid-April, the lovely Pinxterbloom azaleas are blooming along our roadsides, stream sides and on forested slopes around the Northern Neck. Found from New York to Georgia, these graceful deciduous shrubs flaunt eye-catching clusters of tubular rosy pink flowers at the tips of their branches.

If you stop and take a closer look, you can often smell their light spicy fragrance. The shrub is sometimes called wild honeysuckle because of the trumpet shaped flowers with deep rosy red floral tubes flaring out into five lighter pink petals, all crowned by long curving rosy stamens that protrude out beyond the petals, resembling honeysuckle blooms.

Unlike their more familiar evergreen Asian cousins…

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