Rhododendron carolinianum
Carolina Rhododendron

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Butterfly FriendlyFull SunRain GardenPart ShadeShade
Carolina Rhododendron
Rhododendron carolinianum

A wide growing species with upright branches. Clusters of flowers vary in color from very light to very dark pink and attract honeybees and other beneficial insects. The foliage is generally evergreen, glossy, and deep green with a purple cast in winter. The crushed leaves are very aromatic. The Massachusetts Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society selected this species as a “Proven Performer”. Great planted in groups under high canopies and in naturalized, woodland gardens. 

Clusters of delicate, fragrant, pink flowers bloom in May
Attracts butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects
Awarded as a “Proven Performer”
Evergreen foliage takes on a purple hue in winter
Provides shelter and nesting for birds and other wildlife

Native Range

Found in rocky woods, cool meadows and mountain stream banks.

Interesting Facts

An average hummingbird’s heart rate is more than 1,200 beats per minute. At rest, a hummingbird takes an average of 250 breaths per minute.


Ideally, azaleas like morning sun and filtered shade during the hottest part of the day. They can tolerate more sun if moisture is available. They prefer evenly moist yet well-drained soil, making them perfect for a woodland slope where the water would drain well. Rhododendrons and azaleas need slightly acidic soil that is rich in organic matter. Mulching helps keep the soil cool and moist. Prune after flowering if needed. 

Mature Size: 3-6ft. Tall x 3-6ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 5-8

Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Full Shade

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