Proceedings OF International Rhododendron Conference
Since the International Rhododendron Conference, held in Portland, Oregon, in 1961, many new members have joined the American Rhododendron Society. We frequently get requests from these new rhododendron fans for back issues of the Bulletin as they start to build up a little library of information about their favorite plant. These older numbers of the Bulletin are being exhausted rather rapidly.
The purpose of this article is to call attention to the Proceedings, a publication which contains a great deal of valuable information. It is a paper back volume of 107 pages and contains all of the papers delivered at the International Conference (the last such conference which has been held) together with pictures of most of the speakers and a number of distinguished guests.
Mr. P. H. Brydon, Director of the Strybing Arboretum in San Francisco discusses rhododendrons for the West Coast from the standpoint of Northwest conditions as well as central California conditions. Mr. Wales Wood, St. Helens, Oregon, speaks from long personal experience in discussing Dwarf Rhododendrons in the Northwest.
One of the featured speakers from abroad was Dr. H. R. Fletcher, Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, who presents 12 pages of discussion of Rhododendron Species and their Merit Ratings. He compares his own ratings with those of the American Rhododendron Society which had just been published. In many cases he comments on special clones of certain species and indicates those which vary so greatly that the ratings given are multiple, rather than single, to cover the variations likely to be encountered.
Mr. F. P. Knight, Director of the R. H. S. Gardens at Wisley, outlines the methods of trial at that outstanding trial garden. He lists all the awards given by the R. H. S. to rhododendrons and azaleas since the Trials were first judged at Exbury in 1934.
Pioneer Rhododendron Breeding in the Eastern United States, with particular reference to the work of Gable, Nearing and Dexter, was discussed by Dr. John Wister of Swarthmore College in eastern Pennsylvania. Dr. Winter provides a valuable appendix in which he lists all the Dexter clones which have been named or introduced or given selection numbers in the many eastern gardens where the Dexter seedlings were distributed.
Diseases of Rhododendrons in the Pacific Northwest were described and controls suggested by Dr. C. J. Gould and Dr. M. Eglitis of the Experiment Station at Puyallup, Wash.
One of the finest rhododendron gardens of Great Britain was intimately described by the owner, Sir Giles Loder, who spoke on Rhododendrons at Leonardslee.
Rhododendrons and Azaleas in Holland was the topic handled by Mr. Herman J. Grootendorst long associated with the commercial nursery industry in that country. He discussed the work of many of the well known Dutch breeders.
Herr Dietrich Hobbie of Germany showed many slides, and in the Proceedings tells about the conditions under which he has been working for many years.
In a paper entitled Breeding Rhododendrons for Colder Climates Mr. David Leach of Brookville, Pa., discussed the entire field and then gave the results of his own studies in the genetic background of color inheritance in the genus. This information is valuable in explaining results secured, and especially in planning breeding experiments to produce desired color combinations.
Other informative and interesting papers were presented by Ted and Mary Greig of Royston, B.C., Dr. A. N. Roberts of Oregon State on mulches, Dr. Henry Skinner, Director of the National Arboretum on the native azaleas, Dr. Paul Bowman and Mr. Roy Hudson on the Maddeniis, Dr. Clement G. Bowers on breeding developments in the east. Breeders reporting on their own results included Joseph B. Gable, Rudolph Henny, A. M. Shammarello, and H. L. Larson.
The volume ends with a fine discussion of Rhododendrons in New Zealand by Dr. J. S. Yeates, long a moving spirit in the development of rhododendron growing in that country.
Everyone interested in reading about rhododendrons should have this volume, still available as indicated from time to time in the A. R. S. advertisements. - Ed.