Legacy Project Page

Aromi Azaleas

Azalea ‘Clearcreek’, Photo by Maarten Van Der Giessen

Legacy Lead: Sherrie Randall ⇐ Click to send Sherrie an email

Hybridizer: Dr. Gene Aromi

Dr. Eugene (Gene) Aromi was an Education Professor at the University of South Alabama, and an ardent azalea hybridizer for over 30 years. In addition to producing evergreen azalea hybrids, he aimed to breed a better deciduous azalea. Crossing American native deciduous azaleas with Exbury varieties, he made over 1000 crosses, and described over 50,000 seedlings – over 100 have been named.

Bred for heat tolerance, disease resistance and fragrance, the Aromi hybrids have big flower trusses and vivid colors. The native azaleas he started with include:

  • the Florida azalea (Rhododendron austrinum) with its yellow to golden orange blooms appearing just as the leaves begin to emerge
  • the Coastal azalea (Rhododendron atlanticum) with fragrant pink blooms and a low-growing habit
  • the Flame azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum) with highly variable bloom in yellow, red, pink or orange in late spring
  • the Piedmont azalea (Rhododendron canescens) with pink and white sweetly fragrant flowers, that grows to a tall shrub

Dr. Aromi’s work is nationally known with collections established in Texas, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and the National Arboretum in Washington, and most recently at the Mobile Botanical Gardens. The Aromi Azalea Hybrid Garden at the Mobile Botanical Gardens is in Mobile, Alabama.

Above information © 2016, Mobile Botanical Gardens

Dr. Eugene Aromi
Photo by Mike Kitrell, Mobile Register

Project Presentation: (None available at this time)

Project Attachments:

Aromi Hybrids Dr. Eugene Aromi
Eugene Aromi, Hybridizer Frank Bryan
In Memory — Dr. Eugene Aromi, Aromi’s Jungle Maarten van der Giessen
Named Aromi Deciduous Hybrids Chart Dr. Eugene Aromi, Frank Bryan, Maarten van der Giessen
The Aromi Evergreen Hybrids Chart Dr. Eugene Aromi, Frank Bryan, Maarten van der Giessen