A. W. Headlam, Bentleigh, Australia
Photo by A.W. Headlam
R. 'Coronation Day', a hybrid produced in 1937 ('Loderi' x 'Pink Shell') was awarded the A.M. by The Royal Horticultural Society in 1949.
Its magnificent soft pink flowers, carried in a loose truss with florets measuring up to six inches across, are regularly exhibited at the Australian Rhododendron Society's Annual Show at Olinda in early November, both in the competitive sections and the trade displays, and they are greatly admired by visitors. However, even in the favorable climatic conditions prevailing in the Dandenongs, care must be taken in its setting so that it is protected from sun and winds whilst in flower.
Although it strikes readily enough from cuttings, like a number of rhododendrons, it does not do particularly well on its own roots, and is usually grafted on seedlings of species such as R. fortunei or the hybrid 'Ernest Gill', alternately, cutting grown plants of 'White Pearl' make a very satisfactory under stock.
It usually forms a fairly compact plant, the one pictured is at 'Pirianda', the garden of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Ansell, which was mentioned in description of their garden in the April 1972 Bulletin.
Mr. Ansell advised that the only pruning done on this plant was to cut back a number of branches which lay close to the ground and made mowing the grass rather difficult.
I have recently taken particular notice of plants of 'Coronation Day' growing in the Dandenongs, and would say that the one at 'Pirianda' is a fairly representative specimen of this very popular rhododendron.