Ratings for Specific Areas
Rating rhododendron varieties or species, as to quality particularly, is very complicated as a variety may do wonderfully well in one area and very poorly in another because of climatic and soil conditions. The official A.R.S. ratings are intended to indicate the quality of the plant and flower in an area where it grows well.
It will always be interesting and worthwhile for an individual, or a Chapter, to make up ratings of their own based on local growing conditions. The Philadelphia Chapter has done a very fine job in rating a large number of rhododendrons as they grow in the Philadelphia area. These ratings will be of great value to people in that area and will be very useful to the Ratings Committee in deciding on official A.R.S. ratings for the varieties.
When ratings were first being discussed, there were some who felt very strongly that a separate set of ratings should be developed for each geographic or climatic area. It is true that such ratings would be valuable in those particular areas. However, if there were a large number of ratings for a particular variety it would certainly be most confusing to the nurseryman