My Pinxter Bush

Pinxter Azalea

It was Pam who gave a name to the bush with the pink flowers that smell so good outside the back door.

“They remind me of blossoms on a beloved “pinkster” bush my mother had when I was growing up.” She wrote,  “The scent was absolutely incredible and I could never get my fill of it. I’m wondering if you might have the same bush”.

I had never seen this kind of bush before we moved to the farm.  But I was awed the first spring we were here and it bloomed all pink with a smell that I had not experienced before.

So after reading Pam’s message I immediately googled Pinkster.  

I found that the word Pinkster doesn’t have to do with the color of the flower but comes from the Dutch work Pinxter which means Pentecost.  When the Dutch settled in the Hudson River Valley they named it that because it blooms during the Pentecost, which is a Christian Holy Day.

This made me wonder what the Native American name for the bush was, but I haven’t been able to find that yet.

Pinkster or Pinxter bushes grew wild where we live and people started digging them up and planting them in their yards.  They are pretty rare around here now. I’ve never seen one growing in the wild and have only seen a few on the property of old houses.

So when the dogs started digging around my Pinxter I knew I had to do something to protect it.  This weekend I filled in the holes around the bush and placed rocks around it to keep the dogs away.

I am determined to keep my Pinxter Bush alive and healthy.

As on most flowering bushes, the flowers don’t last long on the Pinxter. But you can see how I placed the rocks around the bush to protect it.  We have lots of good rocks around the farm, mostly from old barn foundations.  And there’s a couple of old millstones in there too.
The Pinxter flower looks a lot like a honeysuckle. ( I feel like I can smell it looking at this picture.)


8 thoughts on “My Pinxter Bush

  1. Maria, I though you might be interested in this information. They grow wild in Shenandoah National Park and we see them along the Skyline Drive.
    Wild azalea
    Rhododendron canescens

    Wild azalea is a deciduous, multi-branched shrub that grows up to 15 feet tall with fragrant, showy pink and white, clustered tubular flowers that appear in the spring. Wild azalea occurs in habitats with moist soil but is also drought tolerant. It attracts wildlife such as butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds which makes this shrub a popular landscape plant.

  2. That is a beautiful bush! The flowers would make a very pretty fabric print! I can see my granddaughter twirling around in a summer sundress covered in those soft pink blossoms!

  3. Hi Maria! I was so excited to see the pinkster bush! My grandparents used to have them grow wild all around one end of the camp on Pine Lake that we spent summers at. They were so pretty! And yes, they smelled so nice! This picture brought back such fond memories of those years! Thanks for posting this!

    Cindy Kozel

    1. It seems to be an important bush to many people Cindy. Everyone who has mentioned them to me also mention their grandmothers. Makes me want to call it a Grandmother Bush.

  4. I know that shrub as a flame azalea. They come in a variety of colors. I have one that is yellow and is very fragrant as well. They used to grow on Gregory’s Bald in the Smokies but I haven’t been there in over 50 years so I don’t know if they are still there. They grow in other wild areas in TN as well as state parks. There is also a grove of them that have been planted on the Doane Univ. campus in Crete, NE. They are a real treasure and yours is indeed beautiful. It is worthy of all the care you give it.

    1. Oh I can just picture the yellow ones Betty. I’m sure they have many different names. Thanks for letting me know about your experience with them. They really do seem to be special bushes that so many people remember.

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