A sure sign that spring has arrived in Lafayette is the abundance of azaleas in a spectrum of reds, pinks, whites, purples and salmons. The Lafayette Azalea Trail begins at our Visitor Center located at 1400 NW Evangeline Thwy and meanders through the city passing many Lafayette landmarks.
Approximately 20 miles of Lafayette city streets are lined with azaleas that adorn beautiful homes and historical sites. Some of the bushes of gigantic proportions are over 50-years-old. In Lafayette, the predominant variety is the Formosa, christened the “General Lafayette,” which blooms in colors of lavender and fuchsia.
The azalea, a native of East Asia, was brought to the Gulf Coast area over two centuries ago. The azalea ranges in size from dwarf to jumbo. The name “azalea” came about in the 1700s and is of Greek origin meaning "dry." This is because the azalea is a flowering shrub that blooms during the spring and thrives in dry soil. In Chinese culture azaleas are called “xiang shu” which translates to "thinking of home bush” because it is a shrub that represents thoughtfulness and pensiveness.