The mostly Japanese bred kurume Azalea are a spring staple here in the Dandenong ranges. Their popularity has wained over the past few years and they are no longer common in nurseries.
If you see clipped Azalea used in Japanese gardens odds on it will be kurume. Their flowering period in spring is not long but spectacular, the whole plant becomes a solid block of colour. They are a plant that thrives on pruning so to run over them with the hedging shears a couple of times in late spring early summer is very beneficial. If left unchecked some varieties have the potential to become substantial shrubs but they are best when pruned to a little over 1m