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There's nothing quite like walking through a quiet path in the woods in late spring surrounded by rhododendrons in full bloom. These shrubs are some of the most favored by gardeners throughout North America because of their glossy green foliage and their showy spring blossoms. With thousands of varieties boasting fragrant blooms in an array of colors, there is probably a rhododendron that would work perfectly in your own yard.

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1. The Rhododendron Family

The name Rhododendron comes from two Greek words: "rodon," which means rose, and "dendron," which means tree. If you've ever seen a rhododendron shrub in full bloom, you can understand the inspiration for such a name. Rhododendrons are from the family Ericaceae, which also includes other flowering beauties like heathers and mountain laurels, as well as many plants that produce edible fruit including blueberries, cranberries, and huckleberries.

Pink rhododenron in bloom. LordRunar / Getty Images
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