The genus, Rhododendron,
has over 900 different species and probably 10,000 named
They range in size from a few inches tall to giants
reaching 80 feet in the air. There are both deciduous
and evergreen rhododendrons. Most commonly, their
flowers are in shades of white, pink, red,
lavender, or purple and various bicolor types.
A point of confusion often arises over the term azalea.
Azaleas are all in the genus, Rhododendron. Experts
debate over what defines and azalea as separate from
rhododendrons. Some look at the number of anthers in the
flowers but I use a simpler classification. To me,
azaleas are rhododendrons that bear flowers all along
the stem while rhododendrons bear their flowers at the
terminal end of branches. Again, there are both
deciduous and evergreen plants in both category of
Members of this genus tend to have exacting
requirements in terms of site, soil and climate.