More specific driving and parking directions:
Due to construction on campus we highly recommend downloading a campus map OR stopping at the URI Visitor’s Center, 45 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI for a campus map and more specific directions for parking. You may park in faculty and student designated parking spaces. The closest large parking area is the faculty lot at URI Coastal Institute. There are a number small lots scattered in areas around Greenhouse, Butterfield and Farmhouse Roads.
- 1:00 to 1:30 — Business Meeting
- 1:30 to 2:00 — Refreshments & Fellowship (If your last name begins with the letters O-Z, please bring refreshments to share)
- 2:00 to 3:30 — Guest Speaker: Sally Perkins
The Beauty of America’s Native Azaleas
Sally Perkins is known for her passion for the genus Rhododendron and her particular interest in the native deciduous azalea species. Come with her to visit the flame azalea calendulaceum and the Cumberland azalea, cumberlandense in the Blue Ridge of Tennessee and North Carolina. Jump over to West Virginia to see hybrids and the native plants there, Vermont and New Hampshire for R. prinophyllum and canadense and the panhandle of Florida to see R. austrinum and other exciting plants.
Sally frequently speaks for the ARS Chapters in the US and Canada, local NARGS Chapters, and garden clubs. She and her husband John garden in Salem, NH on a small wooded lot full of wildflowers and rhododendrons made possible by the “good drainage” sloping down to the shoreline of Canobie Lake. A member of the New England Wildflower Society as a former conservation volunteer, the North American Rock Garden Society and the local chapter’s newsletter editor and the American Rhododendron Society and the New England District 6 Director, she grew up in Maryland with botanical parents, has a BS in Botany from the University of Maryland, a MS in Cell Biology from the University of Illinois and a Physical Therapy degree.
Co-Sponsor: URI Master Gardeners
Interested in cultivating native azaleas? See our Cultivation Notes: Rhododendron ssp.
Interested in having native azaleas in your landscape?
Dorothy Swift, as a part of our Seed Starters Project, has been growing American native azaleas from seed for more than 20 years. It takes about 5 years for a plant to be ready for sale.
Azaleas thrive in acidic soil, are shade tolerant although need a few hours of sun for full flowering. They are a wonderful understory shrub. Dorothy will be present to answer questions.
Some possibilities include:
- R. arborescens – Smooth or Sweet Azalea, white blooms in early summer, fragrant, 5-8′
- R. austrinum – Florida Flame Azalea, yellow-orange, blooms March to April, fragrant, 10′
- R. calendulaceum – Flame Azalea, yellow-orange to red, large blooms early spring, 8′-15′
- R. canescens – Piedmont Azalea – white and pink blooms in spring, lightly fragrant, 6′-8′
- R. prinophyllum – Roseshell Azalea – showy pink blooms April to May, fragrant, jhardy, 4-8′
- R. prunifollium – Plumleaf Azalea – light or dark orange blooms in late summer, 4-8′
- R. viscosum – Swamp Azalea – native to Rhode Island, white to pink blooms in summer, very fragrant, 4-10′
For your pleasure we will also have an early bloomer, Epigaea repens (Trailing Arbutus, Mayflower), pink and fragrant forming a mat of leathery evergreen leaves. Considered a shrub, Epigaea meaning “on the earth,” prefers moist acidic soil and shade… a wonderful woodland plant.