|Rhododendron kaempferi, or torch azalea, is a cold-hardy, semi-evergreen shrub, usually tall and broad. It was formerly listed as R. obtusume var. kaempferi, but later treated as a distinct species.
Leaves are glossy, lance-shaped to ovate, 1 to 2 inches long. Flowers are borne in showy trusses of 2 to 4 per cluster, usually blooming before new leaves emerge. The foliage of many Kaempferi hybrids turns beautiful red hues in fall and winter.
Plant as you would any of the other azaleas: high and in well-drained, acid soil, rich with organic matter. Though azaleas have a potentially large list of possible pest and disease problems, they are usually trouble free if planted correctly in proper cultural conditions.