There are 5 rhododendrons, which I inherited from the previous owner, and 4 azaleas, which I added, on my property.
The one by my sidewalk must be at least 40 -50 years old, judging from the size of the trunk, which has doubled and now is about 12 inches in diameter.
I prune it each year, not wanting it to become too tall. It practically embraces the lamp post at the end of the front walk and looks just beautiful during the flowering period.
Rhododendron, from Greek words (rhodos = rose; Dendron = tree), is a large genus with more than 1,000 species, including azaleas. There are more than 28,000 cultivated plants in the Rhododendron family and more than 10,000 azaleas.
Azalea is a shrub, with smaller leaves and smaller flowers. Each flower has a single stem, while rhododendron has multiple, large clusters of larger flowers. Both azalea and rhododendron are used as ornamental plants for landscaping.
Azaleas usually bloom all at once, presenting a very impressive mass of colors.
Rhododendrons bloom a week or two after azalea, as if not to compete with each other.
Rhododendron is the state flower of West Virginia and Washington