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Rhododendron viscosum

Swamp Azalea /

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This deciduous azalea blooms in summer. The abundant white flowers have a spicy, clove-like fragrance that fills the garden. The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Plants grow into multi-stemmed shrubs that put on a show in fall with their flame red foliage.


  • Prolific white flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds
  • Happy in poorly-drained soil and wetland areas
  • Flowers late so it will extend your season of color
  • Lustrous green foliage with a great fall color
  • Tough, winter hardy azalea

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

True to its name, swamp azalea enjoys a soggy spot but can not have its roots submerged in water. It will tolerate some drought. Grow in full sun or partial shade in acidic soil. Prune after flowering for best shape.

8-10 Feet


6-8 Feet

USDA Hardiness Zone 3-9

Native Range

Wooded and open swamps, streamsides; Maine to Ohio south to southeastern Texas and Florida.

Native Trivia

This is not your typical spring flowering azalea! Azalea viscosum is a tough native plant with fragrant blooms in summer.

"Want a moisture-loving plant that will bring butterflies and hummingbird to your garden? Try this one."

Good Companions
Ruby Spice Summer Sweet (Clethra alnifolia)

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
  • Medium to Tall Shrubs
  • Filtered Shade
  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Sun
  • Acidic
  • Humus-rich
  • Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
  • Moist
  • Wet
Attracts Wildlife
  • Butterflies
  • Hummingbirds
  • Mammals
  • Songbirds
Bloom Time
  • Summer
Habitat Collection
  • Butterfly
  • Wet Sun
Native Habitat
  • Riparian, wetland
Foliage Color
  • Dark Green
  • Accent
  • Bog, water garden
  • Border
  • Erosion control
  • Fragrant
  • Hedge, screen
  • Mass plant
  • Specimen
Native to
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia