Where to see Rhodedendrons near Seattle

Next up in our parade of gorgeous flowers in the rhodedendron, the state flower of Washington and a gorgeous shrub occurring in many colors that is native to the Pacific Northwest! But where to see rhodendrons near Seattle? Here’s your answer!

When do rhodedendrons bloom?

Different colors bloom at different times but the red ones are first and usually start in March. The other colors come along later and are generally abundant around Seattle until late May or even June. The wild ones on the Olympic Penninsula at higher elevations don’t generally bloom until June.

Where can I see them?

You really can see rhodedendrons, or “rhodys” as they are known here all over town in people’s yards. It’s likely that you’ll see them all over your neighborhood. But if you really want to dive into rhodys, here are a few suggestions in and close to Seattle:


  1. Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle: We’ve previously discussed the arborteum, and it has a lots of rhodys! A walk along Azalea way will show you lots of gorgeous spring flowers!
  2. Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island: A lovely garden to visit any time of year, but especially beautiful with spring flowers.
  3. Rhodedendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way: an impressive garden with 700 species of rhodies!

If you want to get a little further away and see rhodies in a more wild setting, many hikes on the Olympic Penninsula have incredible forests of rhodies along the lowland wooded parts. A couple of great hikes on which to see them include Mt Zion and Mt Townsend. In addition, Rhodedendron Park on Whidbey Island has some trails and even a campground in the rhodys! These generally don’t bloom until June.

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Jennie Flaming
Jennie Thwing Flaming, Chief Adventure Officer: Jennie's life has been a continual quest for adventure (of the non-adrenalin inducing kind) from birth till now. Professionally, she pursues adventures in teaching, counseling and working to obliterate institutional racism for students in our region's public schools and also works as a tour and hiking guide. Previous professional adventures include working in schools in Seattle and Alaska, leading tours and managing tour guides and presenting traveling science shows and lessons with Pacific Science Center. She believes in sharing her beloved Pacific Northwest home with visitors. She likes to be outdoors and spend time with the people she loves. Jennie is born and raised in Seattle and has also lived in Alaska and the Netherlands.