Rhododendron prunifolium


Rhododendron prunifolium, the Plum Leaf Azalea, is one of the latest native azaleas to bloom. The orange to vivid red flowers open in late summer and measure 1.5 to nearly 2 inches across. Flower buds for the next season are usually formed before the current season's blossoms open.

First collected by R.M. Harper in 1913, R. prunifolium has a very small natural distribution in southwestern Georgia and eastern Alabama. There are a number of nurseries that carry this excellent native azalea since it propagates readily by seeds or cuttings. Plants should be grown with afternoon shade to prolong the flowers during hot summer months. The author of this website has also painted a watercolor of Rhododendron prunifolium to accompany his study of this wonderful native azalea.

Distribution Map

Plants in the Wild


Harris Co., GA

Stewart Co., GA
(Providence Canyon State Park)

Harris Co., GA

Variations in Flower Form


Stewart Co., GA
(Providence Canyon State Park)

Harris Co., GA

Stewart Co., GA
(Providence Canyon State Park)

Stewart Co., GA
(Providence Canyon State Park)
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