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 indicum ‘Obtusum’

A cultivar of Rhododendron indicum Sweet which see. Dwarf, densely-branched, evergreen or semi-evergreen azalea with small, oval, glossy leaves and clusters of one to three, funnel-shaped flowers, to 2.5cm across, in shades of bright red, scarlet, crimson or white in spring.  To 1m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers'].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Sent to the Garden by Mr. R. Fortune, July 26, 1844, as an Azalea, from Shanghai, with fine deep red flowers.  This charming shrub may be regarded as the gayest of all the red Chinese Azaleas in cultivation. It is a little bush, with very blunt leaves, both smaller and narrower in proportion than we find upon the species already in our gardens,, and also smaller flowers, of the most glowing red. The latter have uniformly 5 stamens only, the characteristic mark of the genus Azalea, and thus seem to show that the additional number hitherto remarked in the Chinese species is a mere result of cultivation.

The segments of the corolla are nearly oval and sharp-pointed; the upper one is not much smaller than the others, and is faintly blotched with purple.

Its high northern latitude would seem to indicate that this plant may be hardy, but it has hitherto been treated as a green-house shrub.  It will doubtless prove to be very useful, in consequence of its being a free flowerer, and of a dwarf habit.’  [JHS vol.1 p.152/1846].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.121/1850].


Rhododendron obtusum Hort. ex Wats. (1823) = Rhododendron ponticum L. which see.

Published Jun 10, 2009 - 03:06 PM | Last updated Sep 09, 2011 - 05:26 PM

Family Ericaceae
Region of origin

China, Japan

  • Rhododendron obtusum Planch
  • Azalea obtusa Lindl.


Common Name

Indica azalea

Name in the Camden Park Record

Azalea obtusifolia 

Confidence level high