As Described by Chris Southwick
R. Boule de Neige hybrid
This very hardy and long-lived hybrid was created from a cross between R. caucasicum x hardy catawbiense hybrid. It was created in France by Oudieu way back in 1878!! R. Boule de Neige has bright green leathery leaves and flowers, which do look a lot like snowballs – hence the name. It is heat, sun and cold tolerant. There is a good reason it is still being propagated!
R. Bremen hybrid
Bremen is another outstanding R. williamsianum hybrid. It should grow to 3’ in 10 years, so is smaller in stature. Also, rather than having a lax or hanging type of truss, R. Bremen has an upright truss. It covers itself in masses of deep rose pink flowers in mid-season. Bremen is another excellent plant from Hobbie – a European hybridizer.
R. Canadian Sunset hybrid
This is a BC hybrid by Lofthouse, which is rated as 4/4/4 also. Its parents are R. yakushimanum x ‘Gypsy King’. It grows to 3’ in 10 years and is a mid-season bloomer. R. Canadian Sunset flower buds begin as good solid red and open to flowers of almost salmon orange colour, which fades to creamy yellow towards the centre. Greer says that if you “add to this the beauty of a compact, rounded plant with indumented leaves”, it is a super plant.
R. Cody hybrid
This beautiful Jim Barlup hybrid blooms in early mid-season and should be 4 feet tall in 10 years. The late Jim Barlup was an amazing US hybridizer who gifted his plants to the Victoria Rhododendron Society. R. Cody is R. ‘Wind River’ x ‘Janet Blair’ cross. The flowers are broadly funnel-shaped, approximately 3 – 3 ½ inches across, frilly-edged, pale yellow overlaid with moderate purplish-pink, deepening at the edges to strong purplish-pink, dark greenish-yellow dorsal flare with red spots. It has ball-shaped trusses of 15 flowers.
R. concatenans species
This species rhododendron is now identified as R. cinnabarinum ssp xanthocodon Concatenans Group. It grows to approx. 3 feet in 10 years. Some people claim it is one of the finest foliage plants of all rhododendrons with its small rounded leaves, which are a bluish colour on the upper surface, and the underside is tinged purple or purplish-brown, and is densely scaly. Its bell-shaped flowers are tubular and are apricot yellow. This is a super interesting plant that needs some shade.
R. Cowichan hybrid
Cowichan is a Cowichan Valley seed-grown selection from Peter Kearns of the Cowichan Rhodo Society. Peter collected seed from an open-pollinated R. williamsianum species plant growing in Daphne Jackson’s garden. Daphne’s garden had been Dave Dougan’s garden in Cowichan Bay. Dave often bought plants from Mary and Ted Greig’s Royston Nursery. Likely that R. williamsianum came from the Royston Nursery and thus the origin of this plant.
R. Diane Titcomb hybrid
This stunning award-winning large grower was hybridized by Hjalmar Larson in WA State, USA. The cross was (R. ‘Marinus Koster’ x ‘Snow Queen’) and it won a Plant Award in 1928. It grows 5’ in 10 years and is a mid-season bloomer. It’s absolutely huge white flowers with pink edges form trusses so perfect, according to Harold Greer that it is hard to resist picking them.
R. diversipilosum “Milky Way” hybrid
“Milky Way” is a Rhododendron Species Foundation selection of this species formerly known as R. ledum palustre. It has rounded trusses of many small star-shaped pure white flowers. It has woolly reddish-brown indumentum. This plant is small in stature, but will spread to 3’ – 5’ in 10 years.
R. Fatsuosum Flore Pleno hybrid
Mid to late season flowers are double, lavender blue, with large golden flare on the upper dorsal lobe of the large outer petals. The small inner petals roll and curl around the short stamen cluster. It has dense dark green foliage, and is sun tolerant. This is an old hybrid that is still around which tells you something about this wonderful plant. Award of Garden Merit – 1928.
R. Fire Rim hybrid
Fire Rim is another great Jim Barlup hybridized plant. The parents are R. Nancy Evans x R. Pink Petticoats. It will grow to 3’ in 10 years. It has large ball-shaped trusses of about 20 flowers with each flower openly funnel-shaped, with frilly edges, 3” across, light yellow with purplish-red edges, with deep red nectaries, and red filaments and style.
R. Ginny Gee hybrid
This small-leafed hybrid is a real winner. Hybridized by the late Warren Berg in WA, USA from two excellent dwarf species, R. keiskei prostrate form x R. racemosum. The leaves and flowers are very small. Flowers are about 1 inch across, pink dappled white inside. They bloom at branch ends from groups of up to 11 buds which hold 4 or 5 flowers each. When blossoming, it literally covers the plant in bloom. Greer rates it as 5/5/4 and it won a superior plant award in 1985. Dwarf suitable for any small garden or pot. It can take sun, too!
R. Golden Torch hybrid
Golden Torch blooms in late mid-season and is fairly compact – 4’ in 10 years. It also has ball-shaped trusses with 13 – 15 flowers. The flowers are having warm pink budges and they open to delightful sulfur yellow and include large calyxes. This plant was hybridized by J. Waterer and is rated 4/4/4. The cross was R. Bambi x (Grosclaude x griersonianum). This plant was hybridized by J. Waterer and is rated 4/4/4.
R. Hallelujah hybrid
Harold Greer is the hybridizer of this great plant whose parents are the well-loved red R. Jean Marie de Montague x Kimberly. It grows to 4 feet in 10 years and is a mid-season bloomer. It won an Award of Excellence in 1983. Both foliage and flowers are exceptional. The leaves have a downward bend in the middle of the leaf that creates a unique effect and distinguishes the plant when not in flower. The very bright rose pink flowers make large, trusses that have heavy substance.
R. Horizon Lakeside hybrid
This is another excellent hybrid from two super parents R. Nancy Evans x Lem’s Cameo. The ball-shaped trusses bear 15 or more delicately fragrant, large flowers that are pale yellow with a bright carmine throat, and spotted above. Brockenbrough hybridized this plant in 1989. There are many “Horizon”-named hybrids, which are all beautiful plants. R. Horizon Monarch, for example has won many awards at our annual truss show.
R. Kokardia hybrid
Kokardia is a striking plant in flower. It is a Hachmann hybrid (Humboldt x Direktor E. Hjelm) from than amazing nursery in Germany. This hybrid blooms medium-late in the season and the trusses of 12 – 17 flowers are formed by strong mauve pink flowers flushes ruby red, with a striking dark red-brown blotch.
R. Melrose Flash hybrid
Melrose Flash grows to 5’ in 10 years. Merle Sanders, from Oregon State, hybridized this plant from a cross between R. Scintillation and R. Holy Moses, both excellent plants. R. Melrose Flash is indeed a flashy plant, with bi-coloured flowers of white with pink edges, and a yellow throat.
R. Morning Cloud hybrid
Another winning hybrid with R. yakushimanum as one of its parents (R. yakushimanum x R. Springbok). It should reach 3 feet in height in 10 years, so a fairly compact plant. It blooms mid-season, with white with outside darker shades of purplish-pink and a slight greenish yellow dorsal blotch. Held in ball-shaped trusses of 16 – 18 flowers. Hydon Nurseries (England) gave it the Award of Merit in 1971.
R. myrtifolium (formerly R. kotschyi) species
This is a sweet little dwarf plant that often blooms a 2nd time in the fall. It is a late bloomer and takes to pruning very well to keep it small and bushy.
R. oligocarpum species
This very fine plant is a newly introduced species to cultivation. It was originally purchased from Chimicum Woods Nursery in WA State. Oligocarpum will be approximately 4’ tall in 10 years and will eventually form a small tree of 12 – 18 feet tall. The flowers are light purple with a dark purple throat. The leaves are a pleasing rounded shape.
R. Peach Charm hybrid
Another beautiful plant hybridized by Brockenbrough from crossing R. Nancy Evans x (Whopper x Lem’s Cameo). It blooms in early mid-season and will grow to 6’ in 10 years. The large ball-shaped trusses of up to 17 flowers have a wavy-edged flowers 4 ½” across, inside they have pink picotee edges shading to light orange-yellow with 2 red flares on 3 lobes, and outside deep pink.
R. Pink Parasol hybrid
Pink Parasol is a selected seedling of R. yakushimanum. It is a smaller grower that should be approximately 3’ in 10 years and blooms in early mid-season. R. Pink Parasol has the typical yakushimanum white flowers. They open from vibrant deep purplish-pink buds. The leaves have beautiful white indumentum.
R. Point Defiance hybrid
Halfdan Lem, who was another prolific hybridizer who lived in Washington State, hybridized R. Point Defiance. The parents of large-growing hybrid are R. Anna x R. Marinus Koster. It grows to 6’ in 10 years and Greer rates it as 5/4-5/4-5 (1. Flower 2. Plant & foliage 3. Performance) This plant does live up to those high ratings! It is a stunner, for sure. The huge trusses have a pink picoted edge, which becomes lighter pink and finally white in the flower centre.
R. rex species
rex is a beautiful member of the Falconera group of big-leafed rhododendrons. The leaves can be 21 – 37 cm long and 7 – 11 cm broad. The underside of the leaves has a thick, rough, indumentum. The ball-shaped truss has from 15 – 24 tubular flowers in rose, pink, white or creamy-white with or without a crimson blotch, and with or without crimson spots. Greer calls R. rex a fine, beautiful rhododendron.
R. Tahitian Dawn hybrid
Tahitian Dawn is another US west coast hybrid, which is highly rated (4/4/4). It was hybridized by Karth in 1991 and a cross of ‘Lem’s Cameo’ x ‘Skipper’. It should grow to 5’ in 10 years and a mid-season bloomer. It is an upright grower with large, dark green foliage. The flowers are an intense shade of yellow, accented with tones of peach and apricot, held in rounded trusses.
R. Willbrit hybrid
This is a R. williamsianum cross (R. Britannia x R. williamsianum) that has all of the good qualities of williamsianum (rounded, pleasing leaves and rounded shrub). It is mid-late season bloomer approx. 3 feet in height at 10 years with deep pink flowers with lighter edges. A Hobbie hybrid from Europe. God Medal Winner in 1960.
R. yakushimanum x R. makinoi hybrid
This beautiful plant would be a showpiece in anyone’s garden. This is a locally hybridized plant by Joe Harvey from Victoria. This plant’s parents are beautiful species in their own right and as a hybrid it displays the best of both parents. It has interesting, narrow leaves with a shiny surface and beautiful indumentum underneath.