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Difference Between Azaleas and Rhododendrons

azaleaAzaleas vs. Rhododendrons

Are you familiar with the evergreens and flowering shrubs? Well, you must have heard of the names azaleas and rhododendrons? For some people, these two terms may come as one and the same, but for the other half, these two plant classifications are different. To put it simply, both sides are correct.

Azaleas are shrubs that grow flowers. They are classified under a more encompassing genus, which happens to be the rhododendron. At first, azalea was a separate genus in itself, and was totally independent from the rhododendron. However, updating the taxonomy, the Kingdom Plantae has rearranged its genus, and given the azalea a more subordinate classification system. In this regard, rhododendrons now have a total of 8 subgenera, in which two subgenera belong to the two types of azaleas: The subgenus Pentanthera Deciduous Azaleas, and the Tsutsuji Evergreen Azaleas.

Azaleas often grow their flowers during the spring time, but die away in a matter of weeks. As evergreens and deciduous plant forms, they need not have that much exposure to the sun, as opposed to other plant forms. Its no wonder you can usually spot them under the shades of trees, or near big plants.

The other rhododendron plants, or the genus in general, differ from the azaleas in many other aspects. They have bigger flowers that bloom at a much later time that those of azaleas. Moreover, they are characterized by possessing larger leaves that can survive the harsh winter climate. In terms of the number of stamens, it has been discovered that rhododendrons possess at least 10, and have some scale-like structures below their leaves. On the contrary, azaleas have less stamens, that amount to about five, and have distinct hair-like structures on the underside of their leaves. The shape of their flowers also differ slightly. Azaleas seem to have funnel-like flowers, unlike the other, that usually has flowers shaped like large bells.

All in all, the azaleas and rhododendron plants differ in the following areas:

1. Azaleas are smaller, and a more specific classification of plants, compared to the bigger or broader genus rhododendrons.

2. Azaleas have smaller flowers and leaves compared to rhododendrons.

3. Azaleas have 5 stamens, while the other has 10.

4. Azaleas have hair-like structures on their leaves, whereas rhododendrons have scales on their leaves.

5. Azaleas have funnel-shaped flowers, whereas rhododendrons have bell-shaped flowers.


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1 Comment

  1. Why’s generally there a really good article!

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