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 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


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 medium