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 ‘Smithii’

A cultivar of Rhododendron indicum Sweet. ‘This beautiful hybrid was raised a few years ago from seed produced by A. ledifolia (synonym A. phoenicea), impregnated with the pollen of Azalea indica by Mr. Smith, of Coombe Wood, Kingston.’  A stout shrub, the stems covered with brown hairs, its flowers are bright rose, spotted with bright red in the upper segments.  [MB p.102/1834, and MB p.145/1835].  Galle.  Azalea ledifolia is a form of Rhododendron indicum.

Horticultural & Botanical History

For more information on Indica Azaleas see Rhododendron indicum Sweet.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.116/1850].  Desideratum to Loddiges’ Nursery, 6th January 1845 [MP A2933-2, p.28] and 13th February, 1848 [MP A2933-1, p.172].  It seems likely that Smithii was received as it is not amongst those notated ‘died’.  Azalea indica smithii is listed in the 1836 edition of Loddiges’ Nursery catalogue, a copy of which is held at Camden Park.  It is marked with a ‘c’, indicating grown at Camden, although it has been crossed through, the meaning of which is unclear. 


Don describes Azalea Smithii as having many-flowered corymbs in shades of rosy-purple, approaching crimson, elegantly spotted with black.  This is a hybrid of Rhododendron ponticum x R. arboreum also raised by Smith, but is clearly a different plant.

Published Jun 07, 2009 - 09:19 AM | Last updated Sep 12, 2011 - 03:08 PM

Figured is a single azalea with bright red, single flowers.  Paxton's Magazine of Botany p.145, 1835.

Rhododendron indicum smithii | MB p.145/1835 | RBGS


Family Ericaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, England

  • Azalea x smithii Hort.
  • Azalea pulchra Paxt.


Common Name

Indica Azalea

Name in the Camden Park Record

Azalea Indica Smithii 


Confidence level high