In addition to being a very sturdy and hardy shrub that can tolerate the extremes of the South, Admiral Semmes produces abundant clusters of extremely fragrant, yellow blooms. The clusters of large, honeysuckle-like blooms appear in spring as new growth begins to emerge. Very lustrous dark green leaves turn orange-bronze in fall. The handsome leaves are exceptionally mildew-free.
While some native azaleas grow into small trees, Admiral Semmes is more of a shrub form that grows to about 5 feet in height with an equal width.
Admiral Raphael Semmes was the skipper of the CSS Alabama and he still holds the record for the number of enemy ships sunk or captured. Semmes Alabama is named for this Admiral.