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Japanese Garden Plants
This is where to find details on plants. We don't have a lot of images, but we'll be providing articles and details as we are able. If you have materials to contribute or gaps to fill in, please let us know.

Japanese Name:satsuki 
English Name:Azalea 
Latin Name:Rhododendron indicum, R. eriocarpum 
Family: 
Sub Type:DECIDUOUS 
Native Habitat:mountainous areas; marshy areas, freshwater shores 
Light: 
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Width: 
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Last Updated:5/21/2000 
Details: All of the Rhododendron species hybridize readily both in the wild and in cultivation. Many of the Northeast Asian cultures had been cultivating and crossing the native species for centuries prior to their importation to Western Europe.

Azaleas were brought to Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries by the "East India Men" when Asia was still known as the "Indies." The most common variety of azalea in Japan thus became known as R. indicum.

Meanwhile, the Japanese continued to hybridize behind closed ports, focusing primarily on dwarf varieties for bonsai and ikebana. By 1681, there are known to have been at least 150 varieties in cultivation. Many of the hybrid evergreen azaleas are kept clipped into highly abstracted forms. This practice is known as karikomi or okarikomi when done on a larger scale.

There are two main hybrid groups in Japan: tsutsuji and satsuki. Tsutsuji flowers in the end of April and into mid May with 3-7cm flowers. It is ubiquitous throughout Japan. Satsuki flower in early June and are usually low, spreading bushes. A wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors are cultivated. The word "satsuki" refers to the month we know as "June," which was the 5th month of the old Japanese/Chinese calendar.





For Further Reference
  • Kitamura, Fumio and Ishizu Yurio. Garden Plants in Japan. Tokyo: Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai, 1963, pp 184-193.
  • Darden, Jim. Great American Azaleas. Greenhouse Press. 1985.
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