Rhododendron austrinum is known as the Florida Azalea
and blooms in early spring before as the leaves are beginning to expand.
The fragrant blosoms come in shades of orange through gold and yellow,
and measure approximately 1 to 1.5 inches across. This species
has very long stamens and the tube of the flower is often flushed
with red but there is no blotch.
Discovered by Dr. A. W. Chapman before 1865, R. austrinum
is similar in many respects to R. canescens including the sticky
glanular hairs on the flower tube, but differs in the color variations
which are orange to yellow rather than pink to white.
R. austrinum makes an excellent landscape plant as well
as a valuable hybridizing resource, especially
in southern gardens where heat tolerance is important.