June 25, 2019
By: Lise Lorimer,
Mass Hort Garden Educator
Rhododendron arborescens, is our native sweet azalea which sets itself apart from other species with a later bloom time and sweet fragrance.The large shrub produces flowers that are white with pink stamens that delicately protrude out past the petals. It needs dappled shade to protect it from the summer sun and can’t handle very dry conditions.
A great hybrid, developed right here in Massachusetts, is the Weston hybrid “white light”. Ours can be found in the Bressingham Garden directly across from the snag in Weezie’s Garden. (A snag is an upright, dead tree which provides wildlife habitat and a great place for birds to perch– ours has chimes installed in it too.)
You can also find this plant by following the scent it uses to attract pollinators, both bees and butterflies are frequent visitors.