Rhododendron canescens


Rhododendron canescens, the piedmont or Florida Pinxter Azalea, is a striking native species. The fragrant flowers are 1 to 1.5 inches across, and come in shades of pink to white with usually no blotch. The stamens are quite long , usually twice as long as the tube.

Discovered by Mark Catesby about 1730, R. canescens is often confused with R. periclymenoides (R. nudiflorum ) but can be distinguished by the sticky glandular hairs on the tubes of the flowers and some other morphological characterics.

Although typically considered a southern species, R. canescens is a hardy shrub that deserves wider landscape use. The 4 to 5 foot plant makes a spectacular spring show since the flowers open before the leaves have expanded.

Distribution Map

Plants in the Wild


Pearl River Co., MS

Orangeburg Co., SC

Lee Co., GA

Escambia Co., AL

Randolph Co., GA

Variations in Flower Form


Walton Co., FL (Turkey Creek)

Pearl River Co., MS

Liberty Co., FL

Private Garden ("Varnadoe's Pink" clone)
The images presented here are reproduced with permission from color slides taken by the Species Study Group of the Middle Atlantic Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. The slides are numbered, and correspond to the sequence used in the program Eastern Native Azalea Species presented by George K. McLellan at the East Coast Regional Conference of the ARS in November 1999.


East Coast Native Azaleas
R. vaseyi
R. canadense
R. canescens
R. austrinum
R. flammeum
R. periclymenoides
R. alabamense
R. atlanticum
R. calendulaceum
R. prinophyllum
R. viscosum
R. arborescens
R. cumberlandense
R. prunifolium
R. eastmanii

Identifying the Native Azaleas