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Not Your Garden Azalea

When gardeners think of azaleas, there are thoughts of going to a nursery to purchase these shrubs to plant around the house. But in our native woodlands there are wild azaleas that thrive in acidic wetlands. One such azalea is the swamp azalea. It has showy, fragrant white flowers that bloom in the early summer. It is one of seventeen native azaleas in the U.S. Not only is it an attractive plant, but I have seen yellow-throats, a warbler of wetlands, nest in it. Although not the usual landscape plant, swamp azalea is a shrub that people plant in their native gardens.

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