(Ashe) Rehder in E. H. Wilson and A. J. Rehder, Monogr. Azaleas. 147. 1921.
Ashe, Bull. Charleston Mus. 13: 26. 1917
, to 0.5-1 m, very strongly rhizomatous.
bark ± smooth, not shredding; twigs scattered, multicellular eglandular-hairy (hairs un-branched) and/or stipitate-glandular-hairy, otherwise gla-brous or, sometimes, sparsely unicellular-hairy.
deciduous; petiole multicellular eglandular- and/or stipitate-glandular-hairy, sometimes also unicellular-hairy; blade ovate to obovate, 2-5.5(-6.5) × 0.8-2(-3) cm, thin, membranous to chartaceous, margins entire, plane, ciliate, eglandular-hairy, apex acute to obtuse, often mucronate, abaxial surface glabrous or, rarely, sparsely scattered eglandular-hairy, sometimes sparsely (rarely densely) unicellular-hairy, adaxial surface (lustrous to dull), glabrous or sparsely scattered stipitate-glandular-hairy, sometimes also sparsely unicellular-hairy.
Floral bud scales
glabrous or densely unicellular-hairy abaxially, margins usually unicellular-ciliate.
4-13-flowered; bracts similar to bud scales.
4-15(-20) mm, eglandular- and/or stipitate-glandular-hairy, otherwise glabrous or sparsely (rarely moderately) unicellular-hairy.
opening before or with leaves, erect to horizontal, usually very fragrant and/or nearly mephitic-scented; calyx lobes 0.7-5.5(-10) mm, marginal and scattered stipitate-glandular- or, less commonly, eglandular-hairy, sometimes also unicellular-hairy; corolla white, usually flushed pink or rose (especially on tube), without blotch on upper lobe, funnelform, 23-58 mm, scattered, usually conspicuous, multicellular stipitate-glandular-hairy (hairs forming prominent band along middle of each lobe), otherwise glabrous or, sometimes, sparsely unicellular-hairy on outer surface, petals connate, lobes 8-24 mm, tube rather gradually expanded into lobes, 16-35 mm (equaling or longer than lobes); stamens 5, much exserted, ± unequal, 32-63 mm.
borne on erect pedicels, 10-24 × 4-8 mm, usually densely stipitate-glandular-hairy, otherwise glabrous or densely unicellular-hairy.
without distinct tails, flattened portion of testa well developed at each end; testa expanded, dorsiventrally flattened, ± loose.
Flowering spring. Moist pine flatwoods and savannas, sometimes in drier pine and/or oak forests, primarily in fire-maintained communities of the Atlantic coastal plain; 0-200 m; Del., Ga., Md., N.C., Pa., S.C., Va.
Varieties and forms have been described within
(see E. H. Wilson and A. J. Rehder 1921; K. A. Kron 1993). Hybrids between it and
is easily confused with the sympatric
, which generally is taller, less rhizomatous, hairier, larger-leaved, and later-flowering (i.e., flowers appear after the leaves have expanded).