Azaleas are flowering shrubs making up part of the genus Rhododendron. Originally azaleas were classed as a different genus of plant, but now they are included in the genus Rhododendron. One of the major differences between azaleas and the rest of the rhododendron family is their size. Another is their flower growth. Rhododendrons grow their flowers in clusters, while most azaleas have terminal blooms (one flower per flower branch), however, they have so many branches that during the flowering season they are a solid mass of colour.
Azaleas are recognised by these flowers blooming all at once, in a showy display for a month or two in spring. The exception to this rule is a small group of azaleas which grow their flowers in tight terminal clusters that look like little balls of colour.
A traditional alcoholic beverage made from azalea blossoms, called tugyonju (literally "azalea wine"), is produced in Korea.