Definition of azalea in US English:



  • A deciduous flowering shrub of the heath family with clusters of brightly colored, sometimes fragrant flowers. Technically classified as rhododendrons, azaleas are characteristically smaller than most other rhododendrons.

    Genus Rhododendron, family Ericaceae: many cultivars

    • ‘Smooth hydrangea, sweet shrub, and deciduous azaleas bloom under the oaks.’
    • ‘Flowers are blooming weeks earlier than usual with Castle Howard boasting daffodils, snowdrops, rhododendrons, azaleas and crocuses.’
    • ‘Rhododendrons, magnolia, azaleas and camellias are all planted here in great abundance.’
    • ‘These are gardens for all seasons with the rhododendron dell, the azaleas and flowering cherry trees in spring, and the rose gardens in summer.’
    • ‘The gardens are bounded by rhododendrons as well as azaleas, while in the woodlands there are snowdrops, bluebells, daffodils and narcissi.’
    • ‘Gardenias like an acidic soil and so grow well with camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons.’
    • ‘Both azaleas and rhododendrons should be pruned after flowering.’
    • ‘There is also a big selection of azaleas and rhododendrons as well as other shrubs such as potentilla.’
    • ‘Other favorite flowers are pussy willow, azalea, peony and water lily or narcissus.’
    • ‘Using shelterbelts of yew, box and laurel they began collections of azaleas, magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias.’
    • ‘With that in mind I plan a grouping of azaleas and rhododendrons in the corner formed by the house and wall.’
    • ‘The spectacular spring flowers of azaleas and rhododendrons make them among the most popular garden shrubs.’
    • ‘As those flowers of early spring begin to fade the azaleas and rhododendrons and later flowering cherry trees in parks and home gardens provide a feast of colour.’
    • ‘Old Jack Frost and harsh winter winds are drying out plants with shallow roots, such as azaleas and rhododendrons.’
    • ‘These two waterways enhance the beauty of the property at any time but especially when the rhododendrons and azaleas are flowering on their banks and reflected in the water.’
    • ‘Add flowering azaleas, rhododendrons, and dogwood nearby for a wonderful color combination.’
    • ‘And the azalea, rare rhododendrons, oak, holly, birch and sycamore have altered only in the context of nature's sedate march.’
    • ‘Rhododendrons and azaleas will continue to sell despite deer, black vine weevil, phytophhora, and rhizoc, but should they?’
    • ‘The easiest plants to move are those with thin, compact and fibrous root systems such as rhododendrons, azaleas, pieris, hydrangeas and boxwoods.’
    • ‘But the rest of the rhododendrons and evergreen azaleas kept their rich green color.’


Mid 18th century: modern Latin, from Greek, feminine of azaleos ‘dry’, because the shrub flourishes in dry soil.