Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - early spring color

 It's actually a Friday and TPP is posting a new blog.  Is this possible?  March was pretty warm, so now April is compensating by being rather cold. This FFF is a really nice shrub for early spring color so as you want pink.  This is a very tough plant, tolerant of midwestern soils, and it flowers at a very small size, but seldom does it grow much more than 4-5' tall.  Yet you seldom see this azalea for sale in a nursery, but it is widely available in catalogues.  It handles spring frosts very well even after the buds begin to show color.  The plant shown handled 23 F without any damage.  However it is  apparently tasty to shrub nibbling bunnies; so mine are caged.  Also oaks don't like it and even if it gets severely damaged by falling oak limbs it grows back pretty fast.  This is the Korean Azalea (R. mucronulatum) and the most common variety is 'Cornell pink'.  These shrubs do nicely in the middle of mixed hedge-row beds, and TPP highly recommends it.

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