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 molle Sieb. and Zucc.

‘A rich yellow, with the upper portion darker.  Very pretty.  Plant five feet by three.’  [FC p.136/1848].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘We received this splendid plant [Azalea sinensis] in 1823, from China: it flowered in the month of May last.  The blossoms are inodorous; they are exceedingly large, and more of the Rhododendron shape than the Azalea pontica, to which it has resemblance except in colour.  It is deciduous, and we have little doubt of its becoming naturalized to our climate, as it is probably from the northern provinces of China. We have not yet multiplied it, but expect that it will increase by layers and cuttings. It has hitherto been in the greenhouse, and potted in peat and loam. The vast empire of China abounds in plants of unknown beauty, as in fact does every part of the globe: new discoveries are daily making, yet immense fields remain unexplored.’  [LBC no.885/1824]. 

Rhododendron sinense Sweet was introduced to Europe from China in 1823.  [Don].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.122/1850].


Published Jun 10, 2009 - 04:23 PM | Last updated Sep 09, 2011 - 05:14 PM

Figured are glossy, oblong leaves and large bright yellow flowers.  Loddiges Botanical Cabinet no.885, 1824.

Rhododendron molle Sieb. and Zucc. | LBC no.885/1824 as Azalea sinensis | RBGS


Family Ericaceae
Region of origin

China and Japan

  • Azalea sinensis Lodd.
  • Azalea japonica A.Gray
  • Rhododendron sinense Sweet


Common Name

Chinese azalea, Deciduous azalea

Name in the Camden Park Record

Azalea Sinensis 


Confidence level high