Flower Bio: Azalea
Botanical Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)
Born In: The 100-plus species of azalea are native to Asia, Europe and North America, primarily in cool, temperate zones.
Bred By: One of the earliest azalea breeders was a Dutch baker named P. Mortier, who was the first to hybridize American and European varieties. Benjamin Y. Morrison is the preeminent azalea breeder of the post-World War II era, who introduced nearly 500 varieties from the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., known collectively as the Glenn Dale Hybrids.
All-Star Varieties: Exbury, also known as Knap Hill, are a group of classic hybrid azaleas that were developed in the late 1800s. They have stood the test of time and are still some of the most popular of azaleas in North America. The flowers of Exbury azaleas come in a wide variety of colors, from orange to pink to yellow or red.
Fun Fact: The oldest collection of Indian azaleas is at Magnolia
Plantation & Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina. There are new azaleas
added every year, but the original azaleas were planted in the 1840s. See
hundreds of varieties of azaleas, including 15 that were previously thought to
be extinct until 2010.