According to the Wiki, the flower called Rhododendron (Greek ῥόδον rhódon "rose" and δένδρον déndron "tree") is a huge genus with 1,024 species, either evergreen or deciduous growing mainly in Asia but can also be found also in the Southern Highlands of the Appalachian Mountains of North America. During the trip, we were brought to see, not just wisteria, but also some Japanese azaleas, which is a sub-genera of the genus rhododendron. Like the wisteria, the Japanese azaleas originally came from China but they have been growing them for centuries. Traditionally, the Japanese divide the azaleas into two groups called respectively the Tsutsuji (ever green) and the Satsuki I (literally the 5th month of the lunar calendar). The Tsutsuji azaleas bloom one lunar cycle after the spring equinox whilst the Satsuki bloom two lunar cycles after the vernal equinox.
This is an azalea park at Unsen
We were so afraid that we wouldn't be able to to take any photos there because it had been raining all morning.
It was a huge park and the azaleas grow all over the place. The size of their flower can vary between 1 to 5 inch. They can grow as hose-in-hose, semi-double or fully double flowers. The Satsuki can have overlapping lobes, narrow lobes, wide lobes. Theedges of their lobe can be flat or frilled. Their color may be white, pink, yellowish pink, red, reddish orange and purple and such colors may appear solid, striped, flaked, linear, as sectors or at the margins on a lighter background. The complete range of color patterns can appear on the same plant and be different each year!
a huge plant full of flowers
Their flowers appear in two huge canopies
or in clumps
or in layers, one above the other
The azaleas can grow on the hillside, even on acidic soil.
Simply unbelievable how thick their layers can be.
Like some of the flowers such as lilies or the bauhinia, their stamens stick out
a drop of water about to fall
It was an eye-opening experience.
Never ever have I seen so many azaleas at the same place my entire life.