Azalea in a flowery pot
It has many buds quite tightly furled at present . . .
. . . which will open . . .
. . . to reveal their full beauty.
Azaleas are members of the Rhododendron genus, native to the hilly areas of Asia and North America and flowering in damp, well-drained places in Spring. Some are deciduous, others evergreen, many are fragrant. They are extremely toxic to sheep and goats but cause no problems for cats and dogs. In Korea an alcoholic drink called 'Tugyonju' (azalea grape wine) is fermented from their blooms. In China the azalea is known as 'thinking of home bush'.
It is also the astrological symbolic flower for Sagittarius and one of the symbols of Sao Paulo in Brazil.
Many cities in the States have azalea festivals but Alabama has the greatest claim to importance in the azalea world, having several nurseries supplying azaleas to the rest of the USA.
Thank you to the 'Today's Flowers' team for hosting this meme. To see more beautiful blooms please click here.