The Orange Boosh


Georgia calls me about once a week in the spring to tell me to come over! And bring my camera! She has a new something blooming! Sometimes I do. Sometimes I forget or get too busy. Then she is very disappointed in me. Only she doesn’t say that. She just calls the next week with the next bloom. In between times, she calls me for no reason at all. Or because somebody she knows is in the hospital. I am up on all the medical events of everyone she knows. I always pretend I know who she’s talking about because she assumes I know everyone she knows even though I usually have no idea what she’s talking about.

But if you need a health update about anyone in town, just let me know. I’m plugged in.

Anyway! This is Georgia’s favorite flowering boosh.

The first time she said boosh to me, I wouldn’t have known what she was talking about except that she was pointing to a bush. Georgia grew up on a farm outside Glenville, West Virginia. They must have a different dialect there. I just love it when she talks about booshes.

This orange boosh is at its peak, covered up with blooms.

Only we don’t know what it is.

It looks like a cross between an orange honeysuckle and an orange azalea. It grows wild around here.

Georgia transplanted it from the wild to the side of her front porch a number of years ago. It can be found in shady woods. (See it there in the center of the photo below?)

This one’s growing on the hillside across from our farm.

I used to know the name of it because Georgia told it to me at one point.

But now we can’t remember. Me and Georgia, we have faulty faculties.

I asked my cousin, Mark, and his wife, Sheryl, and 52, but nobody knew what to call it. Then I ran out of people to ask who could see the boosh in person. I told Georgia that I would ask the internet.

Name that boosh!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on May 17, 2010  

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64 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 5-17

    It is a Austrinum. It’s official title is Don’s Variegated Austrinum.

    I don’t know if they are one in the same but a flaming azaela bush looks incredibly similar.

  2. 5-17

    It looks like the yellow. azalea- one of my neighbors has… it is beautiful

  3. 5-17

    I can’t say what its name is but it sure is BEAUTIFUL!!! :purpleflower:

  4. 5-17

    :D I was going to say a native rhododendrum (sp?). They look very much like some I’ve seen in Washington state and in Vancouver. Whatever it is, wow. That’s really beautiful.

  5. 5-17

    Tell Georgia its my favorite to. How Pretty!!

  6. 5-17

    We call them “booshes” too. ;) Wish I had one.

  7. 5-17

    I don’t know the name, but I like Orange Boosh just fine! It’s beautiful! I can never remember the names of bushes and flowers, I take on the faulty faculties quite an awful lot when it comes to those names…..

  8. 5-17

    Here is a link:

    It is a Native Azalea. I am told they die if they are transplanted. We have them in our woods too.

  9. 5-17

    The Orange Boosh is gorgeous, and a fine name for it! I was thinking of a cross between orange honeysuckle and an orange hibiscus – I grew up with several colors of hibiscus in Fla, although I don’t remember orange! Glad your first commenter recognized it.

  10. 5-17

    I’ve always called it wild azalea. We had one beside the old cabin we use to have in Barbour County. Beautiful and I have only seen them in the wild – my understanding is that they do not transplant easily. As soon as I read ‘Orange Boosh’ I knew what I was going to see :)


  11. 5-17

    You can find the answer to just about any question on here.You could do a post on Georgia’a flowers once a wk and give us an update on her. :happyflower: She has a fan club you know. :wave:

  12. 5-17

    It is worth looking at! A very beautiful boosh. Is it Mountain Laurel?

  13. 5-17

    Good thing there are some smart people who ready your blog!
    I was thinking it was the rare Georgius Orangius Booshius….and I bet it is, too!
    Beautiful to see something like this first thing in the morning…thank you, Suzanne.
    Tell Georgia hello!

  14. 5-17

    I don’t know what kind of boosh it is, but I just have to say I love Georgia. She so reminds me of my Aunt Martha. :)

  15. 5-17

    The flowers look like a rhododendron to me, but I’ve never seen one that is orange. It’s a beautiful boosh though!

  16. 5-17

    We call that ‘Flame Azalea. It’s a wild azalea we see around here (in Georgia), too. I always think it’s the color of Mac & Cheese! hahaha!

  17. 5-17

    Possum and Donna are correct I think. We have that growing here around the creek banks and other shady areas in the forest edge. Game Warden told me years ago it was a native azalea. They are beautiful aren’t they?

  18. 5-17

    I have the orange, yellow and white ones…Mama just called them a Honeysuckle Boosh. Makes perfect sense to me since mine smell just like a honsuckle vine.

  19. 5-17

    Call it an azalia if you want to … From my “neck of the woods” (in Roane Co.) it is a Honeysuckle.

  20. 5-17

    No idea…and so glad others knew what it was! No such pretty orange “booshes” way up here in the North. And I love Georgia’s orange tabby cat…who matches the “boosh”!

  21. 5-17

    We have those as well, and they have always been called “honeysuckle booshes” in this neighborhood. Never bought that as an accurate description of their actual name, but they are gorgeous. Their leaves are not quite like azeleas either.

    The grandmother who originally lived here panted our three on the hillside behind the house. They bloom from right to left, extending the enjoyment.

  22. 5-17

    It is a wild azalea – comes in a ton of colors – sometimes flowers come out before it leafs out – or the other way around. The grown in natural areas in North Central Alabama and all up the Blue Ridge, etc.

  23. 5-17

    My memory is just the same. But it is gorgeous!
    Have a great week!

  24. 5-17

    I can see why it’s her favorite! It’s beautiful!

  25. 5-17

    That is one wonderful boosh! It is the same color as some of our more incredible sunrises! Georgia must have “green hands” in instead of just a thumb if she was able to transplant it and have it live to bloom every year. Hello to Georgia (and her kitty). :)

  26. 5-17

    I have to agree with the wild azalea votes! The boosh is beautiful!

  27. 5-17

    Here is a picture of the Rhododendron calendulaceum, also known as the Flame Azalea. I think Orange Boosh works, too!

  28. 5-17

    I would just plain call it Beautiful Orange Boosh. Even though that isn’t what you asked for. It is beautiful!

  29. 5-17

    Looking at the leaves, I’m pretty sure it’s an azalea. Even the petals look like a lavender azalea I have. I have never seen one this color or in the wild. It’s gorgeous. It’s wonderful that Georgia transplanted it and can protect it and care for it. I don’t think it’s a rhododendron because the leaves on those are much larger and thicker textured. And yes, I say boosh also and I say crick not creek. But, hey, I was born in WV.

  30. 5-17


  31. 5-17

    The leaves and flower shapes are almost identical to the decidious azalea by the porch at my last house. They’re incredibly hardy, in my experience, much more so than the usual garden center azalea offerings.

  32. 5-17

    Suzanne…….Beautiful picture. A little word to the wise…..Some country folk MAY take exception to people drawing attention to their WV accent. I lived in Roane County growing up and attended Walton High School.. Mother was a one room teacher. I truly enjoy your website. Glad I found you.

  33. 5-17

    I’m glad someone else mentioned crick. It’s raining cows–t and rocks to splash it with here in the Ohio Valley, so I was wondering how you “crick” is – overflowing? I think there are flash flood watches in most of WV, so be careful. Hope you have plenty of aluminum foil!

  34. 5-17

    I have one that looks just like that growing on the bank~at the edge of the woods~behind my house. I call it my MAY HONEYSUCKLE. By the end of May the air is full of the sweetest smell you can imagine.That aroma is why I think it is honesuckle. I love Georgia’s house!

  35. 5-17

    I thought Azalea too…what do I know though…I’m from New England! As much as I love your house, I absolutely LOVE Georgia’s!! I wish I had a “Georgia” in my life!

  36. 5-17

    Beautiful. My father-in-law (God Rest) was from Glenville. He said boosh too. Does Georgia also say she has to warsh the clothes. Ask her if she knew the Whiting family in Glenville.

  37. 5-17

    Oh her bush is absolutely beautiful and my Grandma Kinty in Colfax,WV had one growing against the back of her house. She called it a wild azalia and come spring the flowers were absolutely radiant with color. But them my grandma had a green hand and could grow wild plants anywhere in her yard. By the way…I love Georgia’s house, too. It is simple and yet so quaint and that is what this girl is needing soon to move to. Patty

  38. 5-17

    :lol: :lol: :lol:

  39. 5-17

    oh yes, BOOSh is exactly how my dad says it – and the nearest town to him is Glennville!! He lives on a mountain called Little Ellis – I bet Georgia knows it :) How funny is it that I’ve found this blog? Very cool. I’ll be down to Glennville for a visit in a few weeks and to see the WV State Folk Festival. Maybe I’ll see ya there!

  40. 5-17

    Flame azalea is the correct common name, my family also called the wild azaleas “honeysuckle bush” especially the pale pink pinxter flower. Flame azaleas are quite expensive to buy when you see them in the nurseries.

  41. 5-17

    We have them in SC also, mostly orange and a delicate pink. Native azalea, aka honeysuckle azalea.

  42. 5-17

    I just saw a plant like that at our arboretum here in Seattle. It was a Flame Azalea. It smells so good!

  43. 5-17

    Oh, Suzanne, thank you for showing us all that beauty, everything: Georgia, kitty, house, and gorgeous flowering shrub! I know the shrub as: a native wild azalea called Flame Azalea, and affectionately called Wild Honeysuckle bush in some southern states areas, because of its sweet fragrance. It is not really a honeysuckle, it just smells much the same. Most people, but not everyone, know that all azaleas are Rhododendrons. That is their genus name, but the small leaved ones are commonly called azaleas. What a gift and blessing their beauty is to us. Many of the large Rhododendrons are deliciously fragrant, too, so this lovely, small leaved species is not the only fragrant one. My large Rhododendron by the back door is flowering right now, and its lavender colored blooms perfume the whole yard. I remember being almost overwhelmed by the fragrance of a yellow blooming large Rhody I met in Scotland.
    Thank you PossumManor and Amy for the helpful links. I have saved them for future reference. I would love to get some starts of this to plant on a challenging, shady, steep bank in my yard.

  44. 5-17

    It’s a lovely boosh! I don’t know what it is, but we had one out front when we bought our house, we ended up cutting it down as ours had a funky smell to it!

  45. 5-17

    it is not a wild azalea it is a excalber azalea they sell, You can buy them in white w/red blooms and like the one you have in the picture….

  46. 5-17

    This is what I found on my second most favorie website #992 Rhododendron austrinum
    Common Names: Florida flame azalea, flame azalea, deciduous azalea
    Family: Ericaceae (heath Family)

  47. 5-17

    I don’t know what the name of the plant is, but I vote for naming it the Georgia Orange Boosh!

  48. 5-17

    I’m going to just call it pretty. I wanted to say thanks for this service that you provide. After a long day of working with special needs students this is exactly what I need to relax! Thanks! :hug:

  49. 5-17

    We call this “boosh”- Wild Honeysuckle.

  50. 5-17

    When I was growing up in W. Va. (Raleigh Co.) we called them honeysuckles. They smelled so sweet. They were growing near all the creeks/brooks. I see something similar in Vermont, but the blossoms are not as big, same fragrance though.

  51. 5-17

    I have not a clue, but IF it would grow in Colorado, I would plant it! Besides being orange (you know, that football thing), it is spectacular!! If anyone want to sent me a start, I would give it a try!!

  52. 5-17

    Oh, please forgive me for not proof-reading that last post, let’s try again: “If anyone would like to send me a start, I would give it a try.”

  53. 5-17

    Looks like the kind of flowers you see on a Hawaiian shirt. So pretty!

  54. 5-17

    Darn, don’t know the name of that particular boosh, it does look like an azalia/hibiscus type mix! But since I have faulty faculties too, i started a garden journal. Then I can go “oh yea, THAT’S what that is, or That’s when i planted that boosh! invaluable! Plus its fun to go through. I put in mine each year when the hummers come, if its a late spring, etc etc…

  55. 5-18

    I didn’t read all the comments but I’m pretty sure it is a Rhododendron…the state flower of Washington. Beautiful…we have several in our yard of varying colors but no orange. It is exquisite.

  56. 5-18

    Rhododendron calendulaceum commonly known as a Flame Azalea. Its absolutely stunning!

    No, I am not a botanist. Its amazing what you can find on the internet, no?

  57. 5-18

    I was told these wild orange bushes were flame azaleas.

  58. 5-18

    Ok, so now you may be MORE confused: I read azalea, honeysuckle, rhodo-whatever….I agree with the others: it’s a Beautiful Orange Boosh! :fairy:

  59. 5-18

    Its gorgeoujs! It does look like an azailea flower. I’d love to have one of those, probably not hardy enough to grow though. :-)

  60. 5-19

    I didn’t read all the comments but I’m pretty sure it is a Rhododendron…the state flower of Washington. Beautiful…we have several in our yard of varying colors but no orange. It is exquisite.

  61. 7-29

    Looks like native azalea to me . We have these growing in the woods down here in Ga.

  62. 1-18

    Gorgeous shrub, I wonder if they would grow in Texas in the shade? Oh and that dialect sounds like my Dad’s, he is from Southern Virginia…we all had fun trying to “figger” what he meant…
    Boosh=Bush, Warsh=Wash and Eggsit=Exit

  63. 3-4

    I’m pretty sure that bush is what we in Louisiana call a native azalea. They are not plentiful in this area but those we have are beautiful

  64. 3-27

    The flower looks like Hibiscus but I have never seen one with so many blooms on one boosh and I think hibiscus is tropical.

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