Colonial shrub to 2 m, branched above; winter bud scales glabrous; lvs oblong to narrowly obovate, not fully expanded at anthesis, later 5-10 cm, essentially glabrous except for the marginal cilia and a row of appressed setae along the midrib beneath; fls fragrant to nearly inodorous; pedicels and cor-tube hirsute or rarely glandular; sep mostly under 1 mm, shorter than their cilia; cor pink to white, 4-5 cm, the lobes tending to be arcuate-reflexed and to have loosely revolute margins, so that they look narrow and the limb is open, in contrast to no. 5 [Rhododendron prinophyllum (Small) Millais], with flatter lobes and a fuller limb; ovary densely strigose, fr sparingly so. Moist or dry woods and bogs; Vt. and Mass. to c. N.Y., s. to S.C. and Tenn.; s. Ill. Late Apr., May. (R. nudiflorum, an illegitimate name; Azalea n.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
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