'Kim' A. E.
Harold Greer, Eugene, Oregon
'Kim' A. E.
Photo by Harold Greer
Of very special interest is a little plant by the name of 'Kim'. 'Kim' is a real cutie that is something different from other rhododendrons. Imagine its little thimble shaped golden lanterns glowing in the sunlight. Place them on top of jade green foliage and you will get some idea of how fantastic this new Award of Excellence plant is.
'Kim' is the product of Jim Caperci's ingenuity and is a cross of R. campylogynum x R. campylogynum var. cremastum, so in effect it is a selection of the best of R. campylogynum. It was introduced in 1965 and received a conditional award in 1970. Now, being deserving, it has received an Award of Excellence.
I remember the first time I saw it growing in the Caperci's wonderland of dwarfs. It was in the early 1960's. We were walking down the path back by the greenhouse. As usual Jim and Betty were busy talking, telling the details of each little plant we went by. Suddenly, up the walk I saw a plant full of little golden lanterns. Jim was still busy talking about the plant that was nearer to us. I tried to be courteous and keep my attention on what Jim was saying but it became more and more difficult. I just had to know what that plant ahead was and whether he had one for sale. Finally I could not wait any longer and as soon as Jim stopped his description long enough to take a breath, I blurted out, "What's that," pointing to the plant ahead. Jim and Betty began talking at the same time and I knew that I had hit upon a plant that was close to their hearts. The plant turned out to be the plant that was later named 'Kim'. While I was not able to obtain a plant at that time I soon was able to get one and have prized it ever since.
'Kim' becomes a plant about one foot tall. It is hardy and came through our un-seasonal -12° F. in December, 1972 in good shape. It flowers later than many of the dwarfs, which makes it desirable for those areas that receive late frosts. The flowers also last a long time, another desirable characteristic. 'Kim' propagates well if cuttings are taken at the proper time.
'Kim' is a plant worth a spot in your garden and lucky is he who has one.