Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Dwarf Azalea - Rhododendron atlanticum   (Ashe) Rehder
Members of Ericaceae:
Members of Rhododendron with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Ericales » Family Ericaceae
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Author(Ashe) Rehder
DistributionNearly throughout the Coastal Plain, being scarce or absent only from the northwestern corner of the province.

Strictly on the Coastal Plain, ranging north to central NJ and south only to southern GA. Apparently absent in FL.
AbundanceLocally common (may occur in extensive colonies) over most of the range, but scarce in the northwestern portions of the Coastal Plain. More numerous in the southern half of the Coastal Plain than in the northern half.
HabitatThis species favors “level ground” of moist pine flatwoods and savannas, but it also occurs in sandhill ecotones and other upland/wetland ecotones (usually in Longleaf pinelands). It can range into drier savannas, and into upland forests, but it is not found in overly dry, sandy or rocky forests.
PhenologyBlooms in April and May, and at times later in summer and fall (if the site has been burned during the year), typically just before or as the leaves emerge; fruits from August to October.
IdentificationThis is a quite low-growing deciduous shrub, ranging only to 1-2 feet high. As it grows in extensive colonies, it can often be identified by its growth form – a shrub often just knee-high with clustered, obovate leaves. When in bloom, it shows an abundance of white to light pink flowers, typically before or just as the leaves are emerging. A large stand in bloom is quite memorable. However, biologists can easily overlook this species when not in bloom, and especially where it does not occur in large stands.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Coastal Azalea, Coast Azalea
State RankS5
Global RankG4G5 [G5]
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B.A. SorrieOnslow County. 1990s. Scan from slide. OnslowPhoto_natural
B.A. SorrieFort Bragg, mesic terrace of Little River. April 1993. Scan from slide.
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