Question: I heard about some special azaleas that bloom in the summer. Can you tell me what they are and where I can find them?
Answer: In the eastern woodlands of the United States, several species of deciduous azaleas bloom in mid-to-late summer. They include the white t0 light pink-flowered sweet azaleas (Rhododendron arborescens); Cumberland or Baker's azalea (R. bakeri), which has red-orange flowers; white-flowered swamp azalea (R. viscosum); and plumleaf azalea [R. prunifolium), the last to bloom, with brilliant orange to red flowers. Many of these also have fragrant flowers. The hybridizing of these native azaleas has produced a 16 number of choice cultivars. Weston Nurseries (www.westonnurseries.com) in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, has developed a collection of summer azaleas, expanding the color range and hardiness of native azaleas. Some are hardy to -25 ° F and have attractive fall foliage. The ones that bloom in mid-June in Hopkinton include 'Lollipop' (pink), 'Pink and Sweet' (pink), 'Weston's Innocence' (pure white), 'Popcorn' (white with a yellow throat), and 'Ribbon Candy' (pink-and white bicolor). They grow to a height and spread of five feet or more.
The July-flowering azaleas include the pink 'Framingham', 'Pennsylvania', 'Weston's Parade', and 'Weston's Sparkler'. 'Millennium' has darker pink flowers. 'Weston's Lemon Drop' and 'Golden Showers' have pastel yellow and peach-yellow flowers, respectively.
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