Having grown up in Mobile, I never really appreciated this lovely evergreen shrub until I moved away and returned home. And even then, the azaleas were just something that you knew would be there for a few weeks in the spring. Until I started this blog, I never even looked closely at an azalea blossom. I found some lovely photos from the Azalea Society of America. So while I am waiting for Mobile to burst into full bloom, here are some samples of this beautiful shrub, which is sometimes known as the "royalty of the garden."
There are a couple of other differences between azaleas and rhododendrons. One difference is in the leaves. Azalea leaves are thinner, softer, and more pointed than rhododendron leaves.