Florida Flame Wild Azalea
Rhododendron austrinum
Ericaceae (Heath) Family

Also known as Wild Honeysuckle, Florida Honeysuckle, Florida Rhododendron and Orange Azalea.

Plant is a shrub originally developed as a hybrid that escaped to the wild. No efforts were made to retrieve it, nor was there a reason to prevent its spreading. Preferred habitat is rich woods, stream banks and savannas. Distribution is occasional throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are alternate on the flowering stem; short stalked, widest at the middle to lance shaped, sometimes slightly toothed; tapers to the tip with sides less than equal. Base of leaf forms an angle to the left and is pinched.

Flowers are in terminal clusters; bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form. The calyx is 5-lobed; the corolla is 5-parted and nearly funnel-shaped. The color is bright yellow or pink in color with pink, white or rose streaks; often with a white or yellow spot in the throat. There will be 5 - 10 stamens that extend beyond the corolla. Flowers occur in early spring before the leaf emerges.

Fruit is a capsule.

This azalea is rare in a native environment. The wild azalea seen most often seen at roadside in various shades of pink is R. canescens. 

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