Rhodora Azalea Rhododendron canadense
Family: Ericaceae (Heath)
Branching: Alternate

This is a short shrub, about knee-height, and not overly common.   It is typically the most northern representative of the genus Rhododendron.  Fruit capsules are often present, which help with identification.  Also, the upper branches often radiate out of an older and thicker stem which ends bluntly (quite obvious when actually seen).  The flower buds, at the ends of the twigs are plump, somewhat downy and noticeably larger than the lateral buds.

End bud and lateral buds.  Notice the size difference, colour and slight downiness

Another view of the winter twig and end bud.  Notice the leaf and vein scars.

Fruit clusters, often evident in the winter

Another view of the fruit capsules

The branches typically grow out of a blunt-ended older stem

Another blunt stem.  Also notice the bark splitting as it matures

And older leaf scar on a mature stem

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copyright © 2008 Josh Sayers
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