Azalea Meaning

Uncover Hidden Flowers meanings

Azaleas mean different things depending on where you are. 

It’s a symbol of fragile passion in places like China and also it’s a symbol of womanhood.  It’s a plant that’s also known as the thinking of home bush.  It was first use in the poems written by Tu Fu and it’s now built-in deep into the culture.  Stories like those written by Pai, Hsien Yung, the Taiwanese author is evidence of this.

For places in the West, it also represents temperance.  It serves as a reminder to take things in moderation.  You can also send a bouquet of these to someone you care deeply about - to convey the message that you want them to take care of themselves very well.

  • Name:  Azalea
  • Color:  Azaleas are not only white flowers.  They also come in yellow, pink, red and purple.
  • Shape:  Azaleas also known as rhododendrons also come in different shapes.  They can have the shape of a funnel; they can look like tubes and even a combination of both.  They can also take the shape of bells and also look like vibrantly colored stars on a bush if they’re in full bloom.
  • Fact:  Rhododendrons are really different from azaleas.  One of the ways that you can distinguish which is which - would be to take a look at their stamens.  If there are five to six stamens, it’s an azalea.  If there are more, it’s a rhododendron.
  • Poisonous:  Looks can be deceiving. This majestic flowering plant has toxins (harmful to man and animal) all over its parts.
  • Number of Petals:  Typically, there are five petals for the azalea.  However, there can be azaleas with six petals on it that are all joined at the base of the flower.
  • Victorian Interpretation:  There are many interpretations about what the azalea means in Victorian times.  Aside from being a symbol of temperance, it also depicts fragile passion.  It also means abundance.
  • Blossom Time:  Azaleas usually blooms during springtime but depending on the species of the azalea, it can be found on other seasons.  The North American species starts to have all its leaves and flower back in February.  But there are also some azalea varieties that bloom even in the summer or the fall.  Basically, azalea flowers bloom sporadically (even longer that it’s normal blossoming period of two weeks) if the weather is warm.
  • Superstitions:  No matter where you go and whomever you ask about the azalea, they will have some sort of superstition or belief about this particular flower.  In Asia, specifically, China, they believe that the azalea represents elegance as well as wealth. That’s why you’ll see azaleas flowering plants everywhere in China.
  • On the other side of the world like in the UK, azaleas represent temperance.  It’s a good addition to a bouquet or décor in a wedding celebration.  On the more negative side of the azalea superstitions, it’s taken as a “death threat” if you receive a bouquet of azaleas in a black vase - since it’s a toxic plant.
  • The Shape:  The shapes that the azalea flower comes in are numerous.  Even on the same bush, they can be bell shaped, tube shaped or funnel shaped.
  • Petals:  The azalea has five petals.  Sometimes though, it goes up to seven petals but that doesn’t in any way affect the beauty of the flower.
  • Numerology:  Azaleas are number 1 in numerology and this means a sense of independence, leadership and excellence.
  • Color:  Besides colors white, pink, red, yellow and purple, color patterns can also be seen on some azalea flowers.
  • Herbalism and Medicine:  It’s used as herbal medicine these days for ailments like rheumatism, cough and for detoxification. Its pleasing aromatic scent (closely resembles the smell of lemons) is believed to comfort the stomach and the head as well as takes out the feeling of giddiness.

By Florance Saul
Aug 17, 2012