Every spring we here at Baldwin's Nurseries are awash in a blaze of colour when the deciduous azaleas come into bloom.
For a number of years, we've been developing our own plants, open-pollinated seedlings developed from two locally-bred varieties, 'Minas Gold' and 'Minas Flame'. These were developed at the Kentville Research Station by the late Dr. Donald Craig, who operated a rhodo and azalea breeding program for 30 years, until the early 1980s.
All azaleas are rhododendrons, but not all rhododendrons are azaleas. Confused yet? Hopefully not. Azaleas are now classified in the botanical genus Rhododendron, which has a vast collection of subgenera (genera is the plural of genus). Azaleas hold their flowers in a different arrangement than do rhododendrons, and have only one stamen per flower petal, for a total of 5 stamens; rhododendrons hold their flowers in a more cone like arrangement, and have 2 stamens per petal, or at least 10 stamens per flower.
Most of the azaleas that do well in Atlantic Canada are deciduous, which drop their leaves in autumn. There are a few evergreen azaleas as well, although they aren't as tolerant of cold temperatures and are more inclined to damage from winter winds.
Most of the photos in this post are of our open pollinated seedlings, and as you can see there is a lot of variation in colour.
This has been a very busy and exciting spring so far at Baldwin's Nurseries, and we thank all our new and returning customers for your patronage. Please remember to check our main website, as well as our Facebook page, for updates and specials.