Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Rhododendron calendulaceum (Michx.) Torr. var. cuprea

Possibly a cultivar of Rhododendron calendulaceum (Michx.) Torr. but more likely to be a naturally occurring variety and treated as such here.  Figured in Loddiges’ Botanical Cabinet as Azalea calendulacea cuprea it has copper-coloured flowers:  ‘This is a native of North America, first introduced by Mr. Lyon, in 1806.  It is perfectly hardy, forming a large bushy shrub, flowering in May and June.  It may be increased by layers, which require two years at least to make sufficient roots.  It should be planted in a border, in half loam and half peat soil.  How admirable is the beauty of these flowers! how bountiful the Almighty Hand which formed them!’  [LBC no.1394/1829].  The Botanical Register figures Azalea calendulacea var. subcuprea, the ‘Copper-coloured Highclere azalea’, which, although somewhat similar to Loddiges’ plant, is probably distinct.  This Folio includes a long dissertation on the Highclere azaleas by the hybridizer, Mr. Gowen, with a long list of resulting named varieties.  [BR f.1366/1830].

Horticultural & Botanical History

See Rhododendron calendulaceum (Michx.) Torr.

History at Camden Park

Probably not long lived in the gardens as it is only listed in the 1845 catalogue.


Identification of this azalea is uncertain, see also Rhododendron x gandavensis ‘Cuprea Grandiflora’.

Rhododendron ponticum var. cuprea also has copper-coloured flowers [Millais] but this is a very unlikely identification.

Published Jun 09, 2009 - 05:04 PM | Last updated Sep 11, 2011 - 03:11 PM

Illustrated is an azalea with bright orange flowers, suffused with red.  Loddiges Botanical Cabinet no.1394, 1829.

Rhododendrum calendulaceum cuprea | LBC no.1394/1829 | RBGS


Family Ericaceae
Region of origin

North America

Common Name

Copper coloured Pinxterbloom azalea

Name in the Camden Park Record

Azalea cuprea 


Confidence level medium