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RHODODENDRON 'Imperial Duchess'

Image of Rhododendron 'Imperial Duchess'

Family

Ericaceae

Botanical Name

RHODODENDRON 'Imperial Duchess'

Plant Common Name

Evergreen Azalea

General Description

Bred from Southern Indica and possibly Belgian Indica and Indian hybrids, this heat-tolerant evergreen azalea bears showy clusters of double pink flowers from early to mid-spring. The funnel-shaped blooms are hose-in-hose (with two superimposed whorls of petals). In frost-free climates it may rebloom in fall and winter. The compact, spreading mounded plants are densely furnished with handsome dark green leaves.

Selected in the Southeast United States for their tolerance of hot humid conditions, Southern Indica azaleas descend from the Belgian Indica Group. Their ancestry includes the East Asian species Rhododendron simsii, R. indicum, and R. murconatum.

Southern Indica azaleas are highly adaptable to all mild-winter climates, growing best in partial sun or in the bright shade of high-branched trees. Once established, they can handle full sun in areas with moderate summers. Give them an acidic soil with good drainage. Do any necessary pruning immediately after they bloom, before new flower buds form. Try to plant them where they will not need to be pruned back. Whether massed under tall live oaks or grown individually as a garden specimen, container plant, or espalier, they are equally lovely.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    11 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Width

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Double

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No