The Nancy Moss Fine Native Azalea Garden is located in the Connecticut College Arboretum Native Plant Collection in New London, Connecticut. This garden was established in 1978 with funding from the family as a memorial to Nancy Moss Fine (1929-1965). Nancy was a psychology major and graduated from Connecticut College with the Class of 1951.
In June 2018, the American Public Gardens Association recognized the North American Native Deciduous Azalea Collection as a nationally accredited plant collection through its Plant Collections Network. Currently the collection includes 192 shrubs representing 15 different species. Many can be found in the Nancy Moss Fine Azalea Garden.
The Fine Native Azalea Garden includes seventy-nine deciduous Rhododendron shrubs. There are a total of eighteen taxa represented. Fifteen are species and three are selections of natural hybrids. For the Connecticut College Arboretum, native is defined as plants indigenous to eastern North America, east of the Mississippi River. Many of our azaleas are not native to the state of Connecticut, but are hardy in our near-coastal location. Among those featured include Rhododendron austrinum, the least hardy species that dies back to the ground during harsh winters; Rhododendron atlanticum, a low growing plant with a suckering growth habit; and Rhododendron prunifolium, the most vigorous of our native azaleas with late season flowers during July and August. Evergreen native rhododendrons are also represented in the Fine Garden.
Bloom times are for our location in southeastern Connecticut.