Pinxter Azalea Fruit?

troutluleMay 20, 2008

I read in a wildflower book, long time ago, that these azaleas have fruit; I have a photo of the "fruit" from two separate shrubs. But I cannot find any info online, nor can I find that book. Is it gall? One photo the bulbous uneven green growth is in the center of several spent blooms. And, all the photos I've seen the gall looks a bit different from what I have Thanks.

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All species rhododendrons, incuding azaleas produce fruit. It is a green, elongated capsule which developes as the season progresses. In the Fall, it turns brown, splits open and releases fine seed. If the capsule is collected around October before it splits open the seed can be removed and sown, it is a great way to propagate Pinxters.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 6:02PM
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If you are seeing a bulbous uneven growth, then it is likely a gall. I just plucked one off one of my native azaleas and it was also in the center of the spent bloom.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 7:33PM
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In the book I cannot find, which was written in the 70s, it said the fruit was edible. Does anyone know if it is true?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 11:11PM
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Azaleas don't produce fruit, they produce seed capsules. I think sam_md meant they produce the means by which to reproduce. There is no fleshiness, just a container for seeds.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 6:45AM
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I have a pinxter azalea that is now about 40 years old. I have been pruning it and occasionally fertilizing it, in recent years. This year it did produce green globular fruit. Picture small green tomatoes that grow in a globular cluster, rather than a single round fruit. The fruits are extremely heavy for their size, and after a while they develop a white musty sort of fungusy surface, though they seem quite green and still "alive" inside. The fruit is odorless, fairly tasteless, and doesn't seem to attract anything that wants to eat it. It is quite clearly fruit-like, and not anything like the descriptions that I see in field guides, such as the descriptions posted above (ie; a green elongated capsule). This is also accompanied by a great deal of new, unprecedented growth at the base of the bush - lots and lots of new foliage. I have researched "gall" and that may be what it is - some other names are June Apple, May Apple, Hog Apple. It has been noted as a means of slaking one's thirst. I'd have to be pretty thirsty to eat these. I'd rather chew on some Staghorn Sumac - at least it's got a decent flavor.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 8:54PM
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Please see the link below and see if the pictures of galls matches what you have, Ron. There are no exact shapes for these galls, by the way. Pick them and destroy them or you'll have more of them next year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Azalea gall

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:01PM
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The old timers in the mountains talked about eating the gall. It is one of the things they told me about as a survival technique.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 4:13PM
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