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Apologies, I'm sure there is an easy answer to this, but what is the difference between a rhododendron and an azalea ?  I thought it was if they had small leaves - azalea big leaves then a rhodo, but now completely confused.  Any answers ? 


...very interesting Edd and thank you for that.... what I find is that people are still using the old nomenclature, including Garden Centre's... I don't often see the Azalea referred to as Rhododendron.... I grow several of both and there's no way I'm going to call my Azalea 'Mother's Day'... Rhododendron 'Muder Dag'... either... me, Azalea's have a distinct enough shape and growth habit, for me to continue to separate them out... we don't always have to go by what officialdom would like us to....


I never knew that either but often wondered!


Thanks Edd - that is really helpful 


Mike, do you remember the tv programme Geoffrey Smith's World of Flowers where he took us all over the world to find the origins of our garden plants - he was such an interesting man. 



Mmm could be entirely wrong - but thought Rhododendrons and Azaleas had been reclassified by the powers-that-be in the world of horticulture and now appear under the Rhododendron umbrella.  Hope I am not talking complete nonsense here, all clarifications welcomed

By the way, talking of such things, I wonder if anyone has been to the Himalayan Garden, Grewelthorpe, Masham, N. Yorks.  A small garden in progress with lakes only open to the public for about 6 weeks in spring, difficult to get the timing for blooms right but well worth a visit if in the area. 



Hi Mike, your clarification on Rhododendrons/Azales was most useful, thanks

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