The Oconee or Piedmont Azalea is a beautiful deciduous shrub native to woods, slopes, sandhills and edges of stream banks in a few counties in the piedmont of South Carolina and Georgia. It is easy to remember this shrub: Native to a hot area, it is exceptionally heat and drought tolerant for a Rhododendron, and its blooms, which appear in mid-April, take on a range of “hot” colors from reds to oranges to yellows to golds, often several of these at once. Reaching a height of about 8 feet, with an upright habit, R. flammeum is happy in part sun to shade and prefers acidic, organic soils. It is said to resist drought when well established. Piedmont Azalea blooms will bring vibrant color to a shady shrub border, and will attract hummingbirds and butterflies in the bargain.