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 viscosum ‘Violae-odora’

Treated here as a cultivar of Rhododendron viscosum Torr. but may be naturally occurring. See Rhododendron viscosum Torr. for more detail.  A deciduous azalea with hairy shoots, elliptic leaves, to 3cm long, often glaucous beneath, and trusses of up to 12 tubular or funnel-shaped fragrant white flowers suffused with pink, to 3cm long, appearing after the leaves in summer.  To 2.5m.  [RHSE, Hilliers'].  Violae-odora is presumably a form considered to have the scent of violets.

Horticultural & Botanical History

Don reports that ‘there are a great number of varieties of this species varying in the colour of the flowers and otherwise.’  Both Paxton's and Johnson's Dictionary lists a variety odorataLoddiges’ Botanical Cabinet figures A. viscosa pubescens: ‘The very fine variety now before us is a native of North America: we have had it in cultivation for many years.  It is perfectly hardy, and flowers in great profusion about the month of July.  The blossoms are extremely fragrant.’  [LBC no.441/1820].  This publication also figures A. viscosa rubescens.  [LBC no.1518/1829].  Introduced to Europe in 1734.  [PD].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.125/1843].  A plant was presented to the Sydney Botanic Garden on December 24th 1845 [RBGS AB].


Published Jun 08, 2009 - 03:51 PM | Last updated Sep 11, 2011 - 03:40 PM

Illustrated are leaves and deep pink, long-tubed flowers.  Loddiges Botanical Cabinet no.441, 1820.

Rhododendron viscosum (L.) Torr. var. pubescens | LBC no.441/1820 as Azalea viscosum pubescens | RBGS


Family Ericaceae
Region of origin

Eastern North America

  • Azalea scabra Lodd. ex A.Gray var. violae-odora
  • Azalea viscosa L. violae-odora


Common Name

Swamp honeysuckle

Name in the Camden Park Record

Azalea viscosa violae-odora 


Confidence level high