The snobbery challenged - again

Who would have thought that Kurume azaleas could look this good?

I’d always been of the opinion that Kurume azaleas with their small leaves and dense flowers were only capable of dishing up solid, totally indigestible colour.

Seems like once they’re older, and grown in a level of shade that results in a more sparse canopy, they’re capable of a gentle laciness.

The whites in particular were almost unrecognisable.  From a distance I thought I was looking at something with the elegance of, say, an Exochorda.

Of course, all that effervescent new growth on the surrounding trees helps enormously…

All pics taken at Winterthur, Delaware.


  1. Yes, they do indeed look very different! I’ve only seen them as colour blobs too. The flowers are often wonderfully intense but with no green showing, the effect is, as you say, indigestible, compared to this lovely froth. But the 7 plagues that visit every azalea these days, even the hardy kurumes, will still exclude them from any part of my garden. Are they not so affected in the USA?

    1. Don’t know, Catherine. I imagine that the humidity would at least provide some protection from two spotted mite. Dunno about petal blight. And can’t even guess at the other 5 plagues. I haven’t grown evergreen azaleas in, golly… must be 25 years.

  2. Gorgeous – wish I was there!!!!

  3. This must be where Tinkerbell’s cousins live! I think you are absolutely right though about the fluffy effect of all that fresh green spring growth lightening the chroma load of the kurume. Imagine the same scene under a dense ceiling of cypress and suddenly it’s a home for trolls. Thansk so much for the visit to fairyland!

    1. but it’s also the fact that it must be so dark in there in summer that the azaleas have grown quite thin and sparse, hence that laciness. They must be singularly depressing in summer, autumn and winter, but a garden of this size can justify those major downtimes.

  4. Oh wow, they look simply magical under the canopy…. Hmm now to re create this effect at my place!

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