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 nudiflorum ‘Rubicunda’

Treated here as a cultivar of Rhododendron nudiflorum Torr. but may be naturally occurring. Millais describes Rhododendron nudiflorum as a deciduous shrub, to 3m, which produces clusters of 6 or more faintly scented, white to purple flowers.  The leaves appear after the flowers.  Aiton describes the flowers of rutilans as deep red with small calyx.  Dumont de Coursay says that the young branchlets and the leaves are pubescent, the calyx greenish brown and the winter buds pale yellow in autumn.  [Quoted in Wilson and Rehder p.200].  See Rhododendron nudiflorum ‘Coccinea Major’ and Rhododendron nudiflorum ‘Bicolor’ for further details.

Horticultural & Botanical History

Described as Azalea nudiflora rubicunda in Sweet’s Hortus Brittanicus [HB p.265/1826].

History at Camden Park

Desideratum to Loddiges’ nursery on 16th April 1846 [MP A2933-1, p.147].  Listed in both the 1830 and 1836 editins of Loddiges’ Nursery catalogues under Hardy Trees & Shrubs as Azalea nudiflora rubicunda.  Copies of these catalogues are held at Camden Park [CPA].  I have found no other record of this plant.  Macarthur had mixed fortunes with plants received from Loddiges’ and elsewhere at this time and many were dead on arrival.  Some of these are listed in a subsequent letter but it is possible that others arrived alive and were planted in the gardens although never listed in the catalogues.


Published Jun 18, 2009 - 10:28 AM | Last updated Sep 09, 2011 - 02:28 PM

Family Ericaceae
Region of origin

Eastern North America

  • Azalea lutea L. rubicunda
  • Azalea nudiflora rubicunda Sweet
  • Azalea rubicunda Sweet
  • Azalea nudiflora rutilans Ait.
  • Azalea rubicunda Dumont de Courset
  • Rhododendron nudiflorum Torr. var. rubicunda Sweet


Common Name

Pinxterbloom azalea

Name in the Camden Park Record

Azalea lutea rubicunda 


Confidence level high