The lively flower clusters of the beautiful Wild Honeysuckle reflect the glory of spring with a vividness that is well-nigh unrivalled. The brilliancy of its fringy blossoms illuminates our open woodlands, hillsides and swamps from April to June, and as the flowers usually burst into bloom before their foliage expands, they are particularly conspicuous and winsome. At this time, they also possess a peculiar attraction for small boys, who eagerly seek a singular edible pulpy growth, known to them as the May-Apple, which is found hanging among the fragrant flowers. Years ago this juicy, pale green morsel was supposed to have been caused by insects, but it is now believed to be a modified bud. The Wild Azalea grows from two to six feet high, and branches at the summit. The stalk is leafy, smooth, and woody fibred. The thin, oval leaves taper toward either end, and are set alternately or in clusters on the stalk. They are toothless, and short-stemmed, and their margins are finely haired. The colour is a lovely, soft, golden yellow-green. The large, tubular flower has five long-pointed, widely spreading divisions, each of which is creased from the throat to the tip. The pistil and five pink stamens extend far beyond the corolla. They are noticeably curved, and unusually long and slender. The flowers vary from pink or purple to flesh colour, or nearly white. The long, narrow tube is covered with fine hairs, and is set in a very small, five-parted calyx. Several flowers on short, green stems are gathered in showy, round-topped clusters on the ends of the flaring, angular branches. The Pink Azalea is found in dry, open, sandy, or moist, rocky woods and thickets, from Maine to Illinois, and southward to Florida and Texas. The Azalea is the national flower of Flanders. Honey made from these flowers is said to cause ill effects.
WILD HONEYSUCKLE. PINK AZALEA. Rhododendron nudiflorum.