Rhododendron flammeum


Rhododendron flammeum (synonymous with R. speciosum) is a southern native azalea commonly referred to as the Oconee Azalea. Its blossoms are approximately 1.2 to to 1.8 inches across and come is shades of yellowish orange, through orange to deep red. This species can be distinguished from the earlier blooming R. austrinum in that the flowers usually have a blotch, they are not fragrant, nor do they have sticky glandular hairs on the corolla tube.

Exact date of discovery for R. flammeum is not known, but plants of this species were first described by Aiton at Kew Gardens in 1789 and were probably sent there by William Bartram prior to that date. This species is a heat tolerant shrub of the Piedmont region of Georgia and South Carolina, and holds much breeding potential where hot summer stress is a problem.

Distribution Map

Plants in the Wild


Dooly Co., GA

Dooly Co., GA

Dooly Co., GA

Dooly Co., GA

Variations in Flower Form


Dooly Co., GA

Effinghan Co., GA

Lee Co., GA

Dooly Co., GA

Lee Co., GA
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