The genus Rhododendron includes plants that are commonly called azaleas, as well as those called rhodododendrons. Azaleas usually have thin leaves that are not thick and leathery like the leaves found in rhododendrons.While all rhododendrons are evergreen, azaleas can be
deciduous or evergreen.The deciduous azaleas are most diverse in the southeastern part of the United States. The evergreen azaleas are native to Asia and are found in both subtropical and temperate environments.
Rhododendrons are most closely related to heathers (Calluna, Erica) and heaths (Phyllodoce, etc.). The genus Rhododendron is very large containing more than 900 different species! Within this huge group are four commonly recognized subgroups. Three of these subgroups are distinguished by the hairs found on the leaves and other parts of the plant. Members of the lepidote group possess unique scale-like hairs and members of the elepidote group lack the scale hairs, but have elaborately branched hairs instead.The Tsutsusi group contains the evergreen azaleas. This group can be indentified by flattened, rusty or brown-colored hairs on the leaves and stems. Deciduous azaleas belong to the Pentanthera group.

Description of Rhododendrons!
More pictures of Rhododendrons!
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