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Western Azalea
Rhododendron occidentale
  
About Western Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale) 11 Nurseries Carry This Plant Western Azalea is best known of three Rhododendron species native to California. It occurs as far north as Bandon, Oregon and as far south as the Palomar Mountain area in southern California, possibly also in Baja California, Mexico. It is a shrub capable of growing to 5 meters tall but more commonly around 3 meters. The leaves are deciduous, 3-9 centimeters long and 1-3 centimeters broad. The flowers are 3.5-5 centimeters in diameter, with five lobes on the corolla; color varies from white to pink, often with a yellow blotch. It is most often found in moist forested areas. It typically gets summer fog drip or some other source of summer moisture. It is deciduous and will be leafless for some months out of the year, but does produce interesting fall color. It needs some sun for good flower production but also likes some high shade such as the edge of a woodland.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Shrub

Size
Size
6 - 16.4 ft tall
10 ft wide

Form
Form
Upright, Rounded

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Moderate

Dormancy
Dormancy
Winter Deciduous

Fragrance
Fragrance
Fragrant - Pleasant

Flower Color
Flower Color
White, Pink

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring

Wildlife Supported
 


 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 2 confirmed , 23 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Part Shade

Moisture
Moisture
Moderate - High

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / week once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to -10° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Slow

Soil Description
Soil Description
Prefers deep woodland soil with high organic content, can be acidic such as peat or pine needles. Tolerates Sodic Soil. Soil PH: 4.0 - 8.0

Common uses
Common uses
Butterfly Gardens

Companion Plants
Companion Plants

Maintenance
Maintenance
Some occasional thinning of branches may be needed to keep an attractive, open structure. Prune in winter when the plant is dormant

Propagation
Propagation?
Seeds, cuttings or layering.  For propagating by seed: No treatment. Best sown on milled sphagnum moss.

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Streambanks, seeps, wet meadows or other moist areas within or adjacent to forest or woodlands, typically in mountainous areas

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 5.2" - 151.6", Summer Precipitation: 0.18" - 5.67", Coldest Month: 25.1" - 58.3", Hottest Month: 47.2" - 87.0", Humidity: 0.01" - 37.61", Elevation: -111" - 10286"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Rhododendron occidentale var. occidentale
Common Names: Sonoma Azalea


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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