Deciduous azalea: R. prunifolium
The Plum Leaf Azalea is one of the last native azaleas to bloom, opening in late summer when the flower buds for the next season are already formed. The flowers—attractive to hummingbirds—are funnel shaped, varying in color from orange to vivid red, two inches across and held in trusses of five to eight. The plant is large, growing to 15 feet and spreading to six to eight feet in the wild. The foliage is dark green with oval leaves up to five inches long. It is the rarest of the eastern native azaleas, but propagates easily from cuttings. It has a limited range in the wild, growing mostly along the southern Alabama-Georgia border and is listed as endangered by the state of Georgia.
photo by Don Hyatt