Meldon Kraxberger, Portland, Oregon
Photo by A. W. Kraxberger
Now and then a rhododendron hybrid remains among the top favorites in spite of the spate of newer ever larger trussed varieties becoming so fashionable. 'Corona' is one of these. Growth and bush habit are comparable to 'Unique', compact and skirted to the ground with plentiful good green foliage. Also, like 'Unique', it will be happiest with lots of sunshine. The individual flowers of 'Corona' are smallish and wide-open, the truss is narrow and tall: an entirely individual character, once seen never mistaken. Blooming time is late May (spring frosts are no problem) as the big display is waning.
The blooms are deep rich pink, shaded, as if they were created of velvet. 'Corona' roots well, takes a little longer than 'Unique' to develop its true character. This is another plant developed by A. J. Waterer long ago, parentage unknown. 'Corona' is rated 4/2, hardy to -5 degrees, three American stars, four English stars, has an A.M. from the R. H. S. in 1911. Always a lovely shrub in the garden, 'Corona' is now recognized as a fine parent due to the luscious carmine coloring and medium growth. With R. williamsianum as the other parent, 'Bow Bells' is probably 'Corona's' most famous child.