Brighton Dam Azalea Garden

Alert for All Recreation Areas at Triadelphia Reservoir

Water Contact Health Advisory due to a high cell count for cyanobacteria. This advisory does not include recreation areas at T. Howard Duckett Reservoir.

An advisory means that there are high levels of blue-green algae in areas of the reservoir and water contact may pose negative health effects. During an advisory, water contact is not advised.

During a health advisory:

  • Recreation areas remain open
  • Boating and fishing are allowed
  • Any body parts that come in contact with reservoir water should be rinsed with drinking water
  • Keep pets away from the water

More information on Algal Blooms can be found here.

Update -  September 4, 2020 

All recreation areas on the T. Howard Duckett and Triadelphia Reservoirs are open starting May 9, 2020, along with the Azalea Garden at Brighton Dam (open 7am –sunset) 

Service animals are the only pets allowed at the Azalea Garden and Brighton Dam Recreation Area. 

The Brighton Dam Visitor Center remains closed.

Continue to practice physical distancing guidelines; limit group size to 10 people or fewer while hiking, picnicking, boating or fishing; wear face masks when in close proximity of others and bring hand sanitizer.  

If you arrive at a location with a busy parking lot, drive to a different location to help maintain physical distance from others.  

Watershed use permits are not required through the remainder of the 2020 recreation season.


Todas las áreas de recreación de las presas T. Howard Duckett y Triadelphia se reabrirán el sábado 9 de mayo de 2020. (7am hasta anochecer)

Animales de servicio son las únicas mascotas permitidas en el jardín de las azaleas o el área de recreación de la presa Brighton. 

El centro de visitantes de la presa Brighton permanecerá cerrado.

Continúe practicando las guías de distanciamiento social; limite su grupo a 10 personas o menos; use un cubrebocas cuando este cerca de otras personas y tenga con usted desinfectante de manos. 

Si el estacionamiento esta muy ocupado o lleno, visite otra de las áreas de recreación para ayudar a mantener la distancia física entre usted y otras personas. 

No se requieren permisos para el uso del área de recreación por el resto de la temporada del 2020.












Established in 1959, Brighton Dam’s Azalea Garden is home to over 22,000 azalea bushes over 5 acres in a hardwood forest.  Kousa dogwood trees were added in the 1990’s and the garden is also home to Montgomery County’s champion fringe tree.     

The idea for the garden was from WSSC Water Commissioner Raymond Bellamy.   WSSC Water Watershed Manager Paul Hancock led the work as the garden was planted in the late 1950’s and 1960’s.   An updated gazebo was installed by WSSC Water watershed staff in 2012. Ben Morrison was the former Chief of the Plant Introduction Section and Director of the National Arboretum, United States Department of Agriculture. Glenn Dale, MD is the location of USDA’s Plant Introduction Section and Morrison named the variety of azalea in honor of the community.

Azaleas are not the only thing that thrive in the garden.  Maryland's state champion fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) calls the Azalea Garden its home. 

Recently, WSSC Water has planted several new beds, including one devoted to deciduous azaleas and another bed filled with Gable Hybrid “Karen” azaleas.   The majority of the azaleas in the garden bloom around Mother’s Day.

Azalea Garden Photo Gallery

Lemon-Drop My-Mary OrangeJolly
Pink azalea bush.jpg Pink azalea buds brighton dam azalea garden path
pink and white blooms full blooming azalea in pink budding row of azaleas
red azaleas hot pink close up of azalea blooms hot pink blooms on azaleas
rain on a pink azalea bloom rain on a white azalea bloom purple azalea bloom

Specific Varieties of Azaleas in the Garden


  1. Glacier - Very large, leafy green plant, white bloom - midseason.


  1. Coral Bells - Shell pink, shaded darker, early.
  2. Hino Crimson - Single, brilliant red, non-fading, early.
  3. Hinodegiri - Single, brilliant scarlet, heavy bloomer, early.
  4. Hinomayo - Single, soft pink, foliage small, plant tall, early.
  5. Pink Pearl - Salmon rose, with light centers, early.
  6. Salmon Beauty - Salmon pink, light green foliage, early.
  7. Salmon Queen - Large plant, salmon colored blossoms - very late.
  8. Snow - Snow white, very compact growth, early.


  1. Herbert - Semi double, large frilled and ruffled, dark crimson, purple, midseason.
  2. Royalty - Double, bright purple, midseason.


We have a few deciduous varieties planted near the main entrance to the gardens. These plants are upright and tall, with very large flowers and a very striking range of colors from yellow orange to orange red. They are midseason bloomers.


  1. Indica Rosea - Large flowers, flushed pinkish white, midseason.
  2. Indica Alba - single, pure white, broad grower, late.
  3. Indica magnifica - Single, large flowers, spotted and flushed with pink, late.
  4. Macrantha - Single, salmon red, very late. 
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