Azalea pontica L.

Family: Ericaceae

Genus: Azalea


Published in Sp. Pl. 1: 150 in 1753.

Synonym of Rhododendron luteum Sweet

Also published in Bot. Repos. 1: 16 in 1798: It is a native of the coast of the Black Sea, or Pontus Euxinus, through the whole of its extent, on the Asiatic side, from the city of Trebisonde; from whence its trivial name. That a plant of such extreme beauty, and sweetness, should so long have been a stranger to our European gardens, though known to, and described by, so many botanical travellers, must seem matter of wonder; but still it is an uncontested fact‚ Mons. Tournefort, in his Voyage to the Levant, has given an ample description of it, under the title of Chamaerhododendros Pontica maxima, mespili folio, flore luteo; where he says, it grows to the height of seven or eight feet, and that the flowers are of a most exquisite flavour. Dr. P. Pallas, in his Flora Rossica, has likewise figured, and described it, under the name it here bears; but apparently his drawing was made from a dried specimen, as the brilliancy of the flower is by no means preserved ; but it is to him we are indebted for this fine plant. In his voyage to the Crimea and countries adjacent, in 1792, he procured the seeds of this, amongst many other valuable and rare plants; parcels of most of which were sent by him to Messrs. Lee and Kennedy, Hammersmith; by whom plants were raised of it, and many other sorts, the next year.

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