Meldon Kraxberger, Portland, Oregon
R. 'Kluis Sensation'
Photo by Arthur Headlam
As the month of May wanes, rhododendrons in bloom are fast being engulfed by the onrushing host of summer flowers. If you would like one last splurge of rhododendron glory, there is 'Kluis Sensation'. This hybrid was made in Holland, which is tantamount to saying it is very tough, with elegant 'Britannia' as one parent. It forms a dense bush to six feet high in 12 years. The late-flowering trait means the plant does not rush into active growth early in the spring; it is classed as hardy to zero by the Royal Horticultural Society. 'Kluis Sensation' does not need the most precious half-shady spot on the place - of which there never seem to be enough anyway - but will adapt to full sunshine with the normal watering. The foliage is heavy in texture, very dark green and slightly concave; a very thin rim of the light green leaf underside is visible along the edges of the leaf. something just a little different. Blooms are a waxy bright scarlet with crinkly margins in a ball truss, and there are a lot of trusses. It roots easily and grows away steadily. Try it. you'll like it.