This post is one of a series from professor Nisse Goldberg's Botany students at Jacksonville University.
Specific epithet: austrinum
Common names: Florida Flame Azalea, Honeysuckle Azalea, Deciduous Azalea
The gorgeous Rhododendron austrinum or Florida flame azalea (Figure 1) is found in Baker County and the western portion of the panhandle (Figure 2). Of the five Rhododendron in Florida, Rhododendron austrinum, R. alabamense, and R. minus var. chapmanii are listed as endangered and illegal to remove.
Florida flame azalea has beautiful bright orange-yellow flowers with connate petals to form a funnel-shaped corolla (Figure 3). Their sweet scent attracts bumble bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies - all desirable pollinators for any garden.
Liberty County's Torreya State Park is a great place to see this plant in its n…