ENGLISH MODERN HARDY HYBRID RHODODENDRONS
Edmund L. de Rothschild
When considering what we might call good new garden hybrids, it is strange how clear-cut still is the division between the mass-produced hardy hybrid ('Britannia', 'Pink Pearl', 'Lord Roberts') and the finer garden hybrids. The former in their own way seem to us a completely different race from what might be termed a good new hybrid.
We want a plant to stand out as something different in colour, habit, and ideally fill a gap in the flowering season. Fulfilling all these requirements of a good hybrid is R. 'Jalisco' in the grex and in the clones. 'Jalisco' ('Lady Bessborough' x 'Dido') 1942, LR 833 in the Exbury studbook is undoubtedly one of my father's most successful crosses in his search for a perfect yellow rhododendron. The plant is ideal for the smaller modern garden; it is compact, with good habit and long dark green leaves. The flowers are borne in delightful open trusses, and are of a rich maize yellow. 'Jalisco's' flowering time at Exbury is late May to early June, and this helps to extend the season which in England is usually at its height in mid-May.
'Jalisco' is one of the earliest attempts to produce a good hybrid using two hybrids as parents, so its genealogical tree with the British and American hardiness ratings is of considerable interest.
This cross has given an outstanding selection of clones, three of which have already received the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Merit, and one has the highest award of a First Class Certificate. 'Exbury Jalisco' grex B, 3 star Probably equal to 'Jalisco Goshawk' 'Jalisco Eclipse' A.M. cl. B, 2 star Primrose yellow with dark crimson eye and speckling in the throat 'Jalisco Elect' A.M. cl. B, 2 star Primrose with some chestnut spots. 'Jalisco Emblem' cl. 'Jalisco Goshawk' FCC cl. B, 3 star Mimosa yellow with some crimson spotting 'Jalisco Janet' cl. 'Jalisco Jubilant' A.M. cl. Lovely truss with up to 14 florets flushed poppy red opening to butter yellow, with distinctive yellow calyx. 'Lindberg' cl. Exhibited, by Windsor in 1954, previously known as 'Jalisco var. Lindberg'
This fine plant is well worth a try where the American hardiness ratings would make it a feasible proposition to grow.