|Rhododendron occidentale, is a Western Azalea native to the Pacific Coast. This species and its cultivars are rarely successful in the eastern U.S., but are an excellent choice for a West Coast garden.
Tall, upright, deciduous shrub that is cold hardy down to -12 degrees F. Leaves are elliptic to oblong, glossy, medium green, 1 1/4 to 3 1/2 inches long. Leaf undersides are glaucous. Flowers are borne in large, showy trusses in mid-spring just after the leaves emerge.
The deciduous azalea is known for superb fall color and unsurpassed spring flowers. It is usually less picky about soil conditions, though it too prefers well-drained and acid conditions. 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.