Rhododendron vaseyi - Pink Shell Azalea
The earliest blooming of the Native Azaleas, blooms in the spring before any of the leaves appear which really makes the blooms stand out. Most of these are a light pink but you will see some that are a little darker and once in awhile you will see a white one. Natively these are seen a thigh elevations in the Blue Ridge Mountains but we have many customers that have these way down into Alabama, so they are very adaptable. The leaves are larger that most other Azaleas and are a deep shiny green and then they turn a bright red in the fall. Give this some sun and it will stay compact and be full of blooms and put on a great spring show.
Semi-Shade to Sun, Rich Soil, Spring, 6-12 ft Tall, Zones 4-7