April 2 | April 9 | April 16 | April 23 | April 30 | May 7 | May 14 | May 21
Experience the National Arboretum's treasured Azalea Collections.
The best time to schedule your visit is on a week day, but if weekends are your only option, a stroll through the garden before noon or during a light rain offers an enviable second choice. A drive around Azalea Road can be exhilarating because of the views of the Collection, but if you can afford the time and take a walk, it is worthwhile. Park in the nearby M Street parking area, and walk to the Morrison Garden. Pick up a brochure there, and begin your journey into the world of azaleas.
Learn more about the Azalea Collection here. For more in depth information on growing and caring for rhododendrons or azaleas, check out the FAQ pages here. Visit our Azalea Photo Gallery where you will find over 200 images of the flowers of more than 100 of the Glenn Dale azalea varieties.
In the meantime, check back here each week as we update you on the current conditions in this year's Azalea Blossom Watch. [To see other images, "mouse-over" the highlighted text for a small pop-up image].
Today the Korean Rhododendron (Rhododendron
mucronulatum) and hybrids using it as one of the parents are in full bloom.
It blooms every year at the same time as forsythia. We are grateful for the recent rainfall after a fairly dry winter season.
With this dry winter, we are noticing a lot of branch dieback due to winter injury. This is caused by winter sunlight and drying
winds that cause desiccation (drying out) of the foliage and this in turn results in winter injury seen as brown patches on the leaves
or entire branches of your evergreens. While some plants such as rhododendrons will put up new growth in the spring and hide the winter
damage, other plants would prefer to have the winter damaged limbs removed by pruning.
Today, several of the earliest Glenn Dales are showing their color. 'Festive',
and 'Dayspring' are already showing opened flowers.
The massed azalea hillside is ready to pop with color. Buds are showing color throughout the Azalea Collection. Many of our Weston hybrids are in bloom today.
Selections such as ‘Llenroc’ and ‘Peach Blend’ and 'PJM' are full of opened blossoms right now.
Adding their colors to the splendor, later-flowering Cherries,
magnolias and daffodils have also just opened this week.
The cool weather we’ve been having this week has had the effect of halting the azalea bloom in its tracks. Today, there are expanding buds
showing color all over the Azalea Collection with about 5% open. Give us a couple of warm, sunny days, and we should start seeing the collection
open up-maybe by the weekend.
The cool rainy weather we’ve been having this April has had the effect of slowing down the opening of the azaleas in the D.C. area,
but we are seeing bud color and opened azalea blossoms throughout the collection today. The dogwoods are only just opening their showy
white bracts. This year we may witness the rare phenomenon where the early and midseason azaleas are in full bloom at the same time.
Dogwoods and daffodils, usually past at this time, will still be out in all their glory with the azaleas. This will only get better by the weekend.
If you’re from the metropolitan area, you know we just emerged from a minor heat wave – very unusual for April. Temperatures between 80 and 90 degrees
Fahrenheit for four straight days (Saturday through Tuesday) caused many an early bloomers to open and finish in just a few days. The azaleas, however
seemed to weather the weather just fine. If there was any doubt about the peak bloom for azaleas before, there is no doubt now – it is right now.
With many days of rain this weekend and still predicted for the next few days, the early azaleas have pretty much finished
up their bloom cycle for the year. The mid-season bloomers such as the Glenn Dales 'Chanticleer', 'Morning Star', and
'Echo' are in full bloom along with many others.
The early season azaleas have definitely finished for the season, but now is the time for our featured Glenn Dale azaleas – bred primarily to extend the azalea blooming season. They are at their beautiful peak now and will remain so for a week or two. As we have seen, rain and extreme heat can wreak havoc on the opened blossoms.
Visit the Morrison Garden where you will find cultivars such as 'Magic', 'Prudence', 'Vanity', 'Modesty', 'Gypsy', 'Cremona', 'Winner', 'Suwanee' and many more in bloom. Along with a later season of bloom, Glenn Dales are extremely hardy, and have fairly large sized flowers, (greater than 2 inches in diameter). Many of the Glenn Dales will grow quite tall – between 6-8 feet and some older specimens reaching 12 feet in height.
You will also see several brilliant deciduous azaleas. There are cultivars labeled throughout, but you can also see the native Rhododendron calendulaceum, the Flame azalea in bloom now. Then there are the wonderful Robin Hill hybrid azaleas which are also coming into their season of bloom. Developed for the smaller garden, the Robin Hills feature larger flowers, but a shorter statured plant, usually less than 5 feet tall in 20 years.
The weather is now perfect for azaleas – mid-70’s to low 80’s. Come and see!
The main display of azaleas in the collection have passed. Now the later bloomers are showing their colors.
Come out and see the Glenn Dale 'Elizabeth', 'Pink Star' or 'Copperman' light up a lush green area of the garden.
The entire Satsuki hybrid group
is in full bloom now. Visit the Frederic P. Lee Azalea Garden and see over 100 Satsuki hybrid azaleas in bloom. For dense low growing ground cover types, the
North Tisbury Hybrids
have numerous late bloomers in their ranks and many of them grow no taller than 12 inches.
Last Updated May 21, 2009 5:22 PM
URL = http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/collections/azaleablossom.html