SIM­I­LAR IN AP­PEAR­ANCE

Landscape (UK) - - Our Landscape -

Once clas­si­fied in sep­a­rate plant groups, aza­leas and rhodo­den­drons are now placed to­gether in the same genus due to their sim­i­lar­i­ties. Both gar­den­ers and nurs­eries, how­ever, still re­fer to them by their com­mon names to dis­tin­guish be­tween them. Although they have many char­ac­ter­is­tics in com­mon, there are dif­fer­ences be­tween the two shrubs. Whereas aza­leas may be de­cid­u­ous or ev­er­green, rhodo­den­drons are usu­ally ev­er­green and only some­times de­cid­u­ous. Aza­lea leaves tend to be thin and soft, whereas ev­er­green species of rhodo­den­dron have large, thick leath­ery leaves. The num­ber of sta­men also varies, with aza­leas typ­i­cally hav­ing five or six com­pared to 10 or more in rhodo­den­drons. Ev­er­green aza­leas gen­er­ally pro­duce one to three flow­ers at the end of their many small stems, and rhodo­den­dron flow­ers are of­ten grouped in large clus­ters, or trusses, with fewer, stouter stems. Some rhodo­den­drons have small dots, or scales, on the un­der­side of their leaves, which are ab­sent on aza­lea leaves.

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