An Appeal For Help
David G. Leach, North Madison, Ohio
The American Horticultural Society is in the process of producing an updated edition of Frederic Lee's classic, "The Azalea Book", in paperback format so that it will be available at minimum cost.
We are seeking information on "new" hybrids introduced since 1957, both persistent-leaved and deciduous. The difficulty in compiling this list is that most azaleas, and especially the persistent leaved sorts, have not been registered upon introduction with either the A.R.S. or the International Registration Authority.
If you are an azalea breeder, or if you know a hybridizer whose name is not listed below, will you please aid us by supplying information in the following form:
Name of cultivar; quality ratings; hardiness; parentage or general group derivation; name of introducer; flower color; flower form; blooming season; stature; any unusual characteristics; suitability for forcing, indicated by "f".
Thus a typical description might read as follows:
f SULTAN 4/3; H: -10°; Gable derivation; John R. Smith; pink; single; e arly; low; nearly deciduous in winter.
Please supply descriptions of persistent leaved and of deciduous azaleas in separate lists.
At this writing we have received descriptive listings from the following breeders: Orme, Reid/Fischer; Gartrell; Yoder; Kehr; Creech; Nuccio; Crowell; Kerrigan; Mossholder; Gable; Yaworsky; Girard; Pride; Shammarello: Pennington; Harris; Guttormsen; Morrison; USDA; Kern; Hill; Hollowell.
We are also entirely dependent upon co-operators for sources of supply.
Aside from the usual garden centers and roadside stands which offer standard assortments, the best means of obtaining new, improved and rare cultivars are local or regional nurseries which do not advertise nationally, so that they are extremely difficult to locate for a listing which would be useful for hobbyists. We earnestly seek help with this problem also.
This project is organized to funnel information through four sources: in the eastern United States through Franklin H. West, M.D., Philadelphia, Pa. 19139; in the South (zones 8, 9 and 10) through Fred C. Galle, Callaway Gardens, Director of Horticulture, Pine Mountain, Georgia; through Hadley Osborn, El Cerrito, California for the West Coast; and through David G. Leach, North Madison, Ohio for western Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Our information on florists' forcing azaleas is particularly weak.
The American Horticultural Society does not undertake this publication as a profit-making venture, but rather as a service to the national horticultural community, there being nothing now in print which can be regarded as an authoritative and comprehensive work on azaleas.
Please help us in our endeavor to do justice to an updated version of Frederic Lee's fine book. Few know that he assigned all benefits to the American Horticultural Society. It is up to us to produce a new edition with the same thoughtful and meticulous attention which characterized his editing of the second edition. I am sure that ARS members will furnish all available information that will aid us to that end.