From the Greek “azaléos” meaning dry, azaleas are generally found in dry soil. A shrub often linked to the Old South, North America actually has 16 species of native azaleas found coast-to-coast. Often they are divided into three groups: the whites, the pinks and the reds-to-orange.
But azaleas are also found, even revered around the world. In China, the azalea is known as "thinking of home bush" (xiangsi shu), while the flowering shrubs are often immortalized in Chinese, Japanese and Korean poetry.
I took the above photo at Island Home Park on the Tennessee River.
And now a bit of homespun haiku:
explode the red in my heart.