Azaleas are flowering shrubs in the genus Rhododendron. They bloom in Spring with their flowers lasting several weeks. They prefer shaded areas and like to live under or near trees. These colourful flowers are native to Asia, Europe and North America. In addition to their beauty, Azaleas are also highly toxic. In the past, receiving a bunch of Azaleas in a black vase was a well know death threat !
On the left is an older painting of mine of Azaleas (2005). I tried to capture the colourful nature of the petals. The original was sold a long time ago, but prints of this painting are available here. Gift products with this colourful design of Azaleas are available here. On the right is a painting of "Azaleas in a Pot" by Claude Monet, an impressionistic interpretation of these flowers.
The Rhododendron festival in Blackheath (Blue Mountains area of NSW) is on every year to celebrate the coming of Spring to the Blue Mountains area and is on right now until the end of November. The main parade and festival stalls etc... will be on the weekend of November 1st this year. More information about the annual Rhododendron Festival here: