COSAM News Articles 2021 03 Get expert advice about native azaleas from COSAM’s Patrick Thompson

Get expert advice about native azaleas from COSAM’s Patrick Thompson

Published: 03/30/2021

By: Maria Gebhardt

Alabama is the top state in the entire nation for deciduous trees and shrubs with more than 200 species. One of the showiest groups is the deciduous azaleas, which bloom in an array of exciting colors including pink, red, orange, white, yellow and more.

"Gardening with our azaleas is about preserving our natural heritage, sharing a love of beauty in nature, and finding or making inspirational plants for the future,” said Patrick Thompson, curator at Auburn University’s Davis Arboretum.

He shares insight about these gorgeous plants in an online presentation, “All About Azaleas” Webinar #1, in partnership with AU Extension, Thompson talks about the taxonomy of azaleas and that all azaleas are in the Heath family. He gives an overview about the species, cultivars and its fused corolla.

He explains that deciduous native azaleas lose their leaves every winter. They also have two types of buds – floral bugs and vegetative buds.

Thompson expresses the importance of how azaleas provide shelter, nectar and food to support our diverse native ecology.

Did you know there is an azalea named after the state of Alabama? Have you heard about a 20-foot tall azalea? Do you know the best environment for azaleas to grow in?

Learn more directly from Thompson. Watch his part one of his presentation: 

https://auburn.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=5c863827-7ffe-4285-8331-acf700ff664b

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