This is a NORTHWEST NATIVE famous for its garden-filling sweet fragrance. It appears from southern California up the coast to southern Washington. It flowers are mostly white but can be quite variable with shades of red, pink and yellow and come late in the season. Leaves are a glossy green turning yellow in the fall. This is one of two deciduous azaleas in the Northwest (R. albiflorum is the other), and it ranks among the best American native azaleas.
R. occidentale may reach five feet in ten years and often has a willowy, free-flowing feel. The scent is truly outstanding, often filling the garden on a warm day. It is not a difficult or fussy plant once established. Our plants are grown from various seed sources – some collected in the wild, others from deliberate crosses of selected cultivars.
As with all rhodies, make sure it has good drainage in a moist, loose soil. It is quite sun tolerant and does not like dense shade.
Rhododendrons are not heavy feeders, so give R. occidentale small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
It is hardy here in its home in Western Washington.