Rhododendron Wardii, R. S. F. No. 96
P. H. Brydon
R. wardii #96 from Windsor.
Photo by P. H. Brydon
Among the many fine species received from Windsor Great Park by the Rhododendron Species Foundation was this lovely form of R. wardii. The records show that it was grown from collection No. 15764 sent back from the Ludlow, Sherriff, and Elliott Expedition to S. E. Tibet in 1946-47. It flowered during the first two weeks in May, 1971, on a well-branched plant some 30 inches tall and 30 inches wide and was grown from a cutting received in 1964 by Dr. Milton V. Walker.
The shallow cup-shaped flowers were carried in a loose graceful truss of five flowers, each one, two and one-half inches wide and a beautiful daffodil yellow without any markings. As the plant matures, it is possible that the number of flowers per truss will increase.
Another beautiful form of this species is presently growing in the Rhododendron Species Foundation collection under the name R. wardii 'Meadow Pond' and which received an A.M. in 1963 when exhibited by Windsor Great Park. Our records show that this was grown from the same seed collection as No. 96 although it differs from the latter in having a deep crimson blotch in the throat.
R. wardii, R. S. F. No. 96, promises to be a rounded shrub possibly to four feet in ten years. It seems to do well in thin overhead shade and certainly should be included in the ten best species for areas where the temperatures do not drop below zero.