False Azalea – Ericales Ericaceae Menziesia ferruginea


Identification & Description:
It is a traggling shrub of northwestern North America having foliage with a bluish tinge and umbels of small bell-shaped flowers

Leaf: Alternate, simple, deciduous, pinnately veined, obovate to elliptical, 1 1/2 to 4 inches long, dark green above and paler below, with a finely serrate or entire margin, sticky, malodorous when crushed.

Flower: Urn-shaped, 1/4 inch, yellow to orange-pink and often described as rust-colored (hence ferruginea), borne in few-flowered clusters appearing May to July.

Fruit: An oblong woody capsule, glabrous, 1/4 inch long, splits into 4 segments when mature, mid to late summer.

Twig: Slender, reddish brown, somewhat pubescent, buds occur in clusters at ends of twigs, sticky.

Bark: Red-brown to gray-brown, thin, becomes scaly.

Form: Upright shrub that may reach 10 feet tall. Twigs often appear in whorls from central stem.

Distribution: Alaska to California along the coast, east into the Rocky Mountains

Habitat: Moist woods and stream banks, chiefly from low to mid-elevations in the mountains