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25

WEDNESDAY

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When asked about my favorite flower, I usually choose some obscure species that makes me sound cool and oh-so-different. But at least for the time being, I’ve abandoned the long-leafed lungwort and decided that the azalea will be my bud of choice. There are all kinds of these woody bushes, and they vary in color, floral pattern, and size. Kalmias, the mountain-laurel type, hold an especially dear place in my heart because they can cause abdominal troubles, paralysis, coma, and even death in the animals—including humans—that eat them. Now that’s what I call jungle fever. In the mid-Atlantic region, the azalea’s flowers tend to bloom in April or May and last for only a few weeks, so you should probably go check out the National Arboretum’s Twilight Azalea Tour while you still can. It begins at 5 p.m. at the U.S. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Ave. NE. $7. For reservations call (202) 245-2726. (Maori Karmael Holmes)