Rhododendrons In Czechoslovakia
In Acta Pruhoniciana, No. 4 (1962), Dr. B. Kavka reports on rhododendron breeding carried on at the Research Institute of Gardening at Pruhonice. Experiments in propagation and cultivation of rhododendrons, started in 1927, indicated that the growing of these plants in Czechoslovakia was possible and could be profitable. However, many foreign varieties did not grow well under local conditions and so a breeding project was started in 1929. One of the primary objectives was to obtain large-flowered dwarfs. Other aims included what nearly every rhododendron breeder is seeking, greater hardiness, better growing and better shaped plants, more regular flowering, better trusses, and larger, long-lasting flowers.
The main selection was carried out in the fifth year after flowering began, after which selections were grafted on 'Cunningham's White' and final selections made from the grafted plants. Apparently only the dwarf varieties were grown from cuttings.
Some of the crosses were, R. decorum X 'Pink Pearl', R. decorum X 'Caractacus', 'Pink Pearl' X 'Peter Koster', and 'Cunningbam's White' X R. repens. Thirteen new varieties are named and described and five of them are pictured. They appear to be rather low and spreading, very free flowering, but with rather small flowers.