Azaleas are flowering shrubs comprising two of the eight subgenera of the genus Rhododendron, Tsutsuji [evergreen] and Pentanthera [deciduous]. Azaleas bloom in spring, their flowers often lasting several weeks. Shade tolerant, they prefer living near or under trees.
Azaleas differ from rhododendrons in being generally smaller and having one blossom per stem rather than blossom clusters.
In addition to being renowned for its beauty, the Azalea is also highly toxic–it contains andromedotoxins in both its leaves and nectar, including honey from the nectar. The Azalea and Rhododendron were once so infamous for their toxicity that to receive a bouquet of their flowers in a black vase was a well-known death threat.