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Georgia State Wildflower

Native Azalea

Georgia State Wild Flower - Azalea

(Rhododendron spp.)

Adopted in 1979

The Azalea, (Rhododendron spp.,) was adopted as the official "State Wild Flower" of Georgia on April 19, 1979.

Georgia designated azalea as the official state wild flower in 1979 (the Georgia state flower is the Cherokee rose). Blooming from March through August, these dazzling wild flowers range in color from white to yellow, orange, scarlet, crimson, and intermediate shades and blotches.

Many species and varieties are found across Georgia. A hardy species, they possess vibrant colored flowers blooming from March until August. Among them are are Rhododendron Austrinum, prunifolium, canescens, alabamense, calendulaceum, speciosum, arborescens, and serrulatum.

Georgia State Wildflower: Native Azalea

Georgia State Wild Flower - Azalea

Azaleas are flowering shrubs comprising two of the eight subgenera of the genus Rhododendron: the Tsutsuji (evergreen) and Pentanthera (deciduous). Azaleas bloom in summer, their flowers often lasting several weeks. Shade tolerant, they prefer living near or under trees. These perennial shrubs have tough, glossy, smooth-margined evergreen leaves. The large, showy flowers are in terminal clusters and have five white, pink, or red petals. Some horticultural varieties have yellow or orange petals. Common and local names for these plants include "lambkill" and "calfkill". These plants have been used by people to commit suicide.

Characteristics of the Azalea

  • Type:
    Evergreen or Deciduous Shrub
  • Soil Preference:
    Well-drained and acidic to slightly alkaline.
  • Light Requirements:
    Sun to Partial Shade
  • Attributes:
    This plant needs excellent drainage, mulching and a peat moss soil additive. Roots will rot in poorly drained soil. Will not do well in windy sites.
  • Pests:
    Lace bug, Azalea Bark Scale
  • Diseases:
    Salt Burn, Sun Burn, Phytophtora Root Rot

Adoption of the Georgia State Wildflower

Joint Resolution of the Georgia General Assembly
No. 76 (House Resolution No.207-803).

Designating the azalea as the "State Wild Flower"; and for other purposes.

WHEREAS, although the State of Georgia has designated a "State Flower," she has never had a "State Wild Flower"; and

WHEREAS, those species of azalea which are native to the southeastern United States are considered by many to be the most beautiful of indigenous shrubs; and

WHEREAS, while many species and varieties of the azalea are found across the State of Georgia from the mountains to the sea, several species, including Rhododendron Austrinum, prunifolium, canescens, alabamense, calendulaceum, speciosum, arborescens, serrulatum, and other, are found in every county of the State; and

WHEREAS, the dazzling blossoms of these wild flowers range in color from white to yellow, orange, scarlet, crimson, and intermediate colors, some with conspicuous color blotches; and

WHEREAS, with proper selection of species, the azalea blossom is available from March until July and August; and

WHEREAS, native azaleas are hardier and, once established, require less care than other horticultural varieties; and

WHEREAS, from Bartram's time until the present, azaleas have covered our State with beauty; and

WHEREAS, it is only fit and proper that the azalea be designated the "State Wild Flower."

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA that the azalea is hereby designated as Georgia's "State Wild Flower."

Approved April 19, 1979.
Source: Ga. Laws 1979, pp. 1387-1388.

The Georgia Code

The law designating the azalea as the official Georgia state wildflower is found in the Georgia Code, Title 50, Chapter 3, Article 3, Section 50-3-54

Title 50. State Government.
SECTION 50-3-54.

The azalea is designated as the Georgia state wild flower.

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Azalea

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
    Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
    Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
    Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae - Heath family
Genus: Rhododendron L. - rhododendron
Species: Rhododendron Austrinum, prunifolium, canescens, alabamense, calendulaceum, speciosum, arborescens, serrulatum, and others

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