Swamp Azalea is a shrub up to 8 ft tall at maturity with an upright, loosely branched, multi-stemmed habit and a tantalizing, musky floral scent in late spring. Clusters of very fragrant bright white (often with pink accents), trumpet-shaped flowers with five petals, slender tubes and elegant, exserted stamens appear in late May and persisting into July, after the dark, shiny foliage has emerged. Attracting all kinds of pollinators and offering habitat to birds, Swamp Azalea is the last of the spring-blooming native azaleas, followed then by R. Serrulatum (which is actually closely related) and R. prunifolium (Plum Leaf Azalea). Native to swampy areas in the coastal plain, it does tolerate somewhat wet conditions, but not standing water — it prefers moist, well drained, acidic soils, in full sun (if sufficiently moist) to filtered shade. In the autumn, the foliage can develop excellent fall color. Swamp Azalea ranges from the southernmost tip of Maine down and around to East Texas, preferring “damp ditches, swamp margins, sandy fields and dry ridges”. Beautiful, tough, aromatic and adaptable! What’s not to like about this shrub!