Rhododendron phoeniceum G.Don

Described as a good species by Lee.  Rhododendron phoeniceum as described by Lee is an evergreen, tall-growing, early-flowering azalea with scarlet-red flowers.  This accords with the description given by Galle, who believes that it is probably a hybrid with Rhododendron mucronatum as one parent.  A large shrub, to 3m, with purple flowers, the upper segments of which are spotted. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

This is the plant figured in Curtis's Botanical Magazine as Azalea ledifolia var. phoenicea, synonym Aazalea indica var. aliorus, with pinkish purple flowers, spotted a deeper colour.  ‘The richly-coloured flowers of this plant makes a brilliant appearance in the greenhouse during the months of January and February, and form a striking contrast with the more frequent white-blossomed state; but the present is by no means so ready a flowerer.  That it belongs to the same species (and not to the A. Indica) there can, I think, be no question; it possesses all the essential characters, and the fragrance is similar, or perhaps more powerful, and evident to persons who are insensible to that of the white kind.[BM t.3239/1833].  Rhododendron mucronatum is usually described with white flowers.  See Rhododendron indicum ‘Alba’

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.76/1843]. 


Rhododendron ledifolium D.Don is also given as a synonym of Rhododendron pulchrum Sweet by some authors.

The identity of Macarthur’s Azalea Indica phoenicea is uncertain.  See also Rhododendron pulchrum Sweet.

Published Jan 16, 2009 - 01:38 PM | Last updated Sep 30, 2011 - 05:03 PM

The image depicts a single azalea with bright red flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3239, 1833.

Rhododendron phoeniceum G.Don | BM t.3239/1833 | BHL

More details about Rhododendron phoeniceum G.Don
Family Ericaceae
Region of origin

China or Japan.  Probably of garden origin.

  • Rhododendron ledifolium D.Don
  • Rhododendron mucronatum G.Don
  • Azalea ledifolia Hook. var. phoenicea 
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Azalea Indica phoenicea 

Confidence level