R. 'Scintillation' A. E.
Ted Van Veen, Portland, Oregon
In 1921, at the age of 60, Charles 0. Dexter, a wealthy blanket manufacturer, purchased 76 acres in Sandwich on Cape Cod. Here he introduced an extensive rhododendron breeding program unequalled by anyone. In this hybridizing program he primarily worked with R. fortunei and R. decorum seedlings available in the area at the time, to which he made crosses with miscellaneous sorts received from Prof. Charles S. Sargent and E. H. (Chinese) Wilson. His seedling production was estimated at 10,000 a year until his death in 1943.
The best known of all Dexter seedlings is 'Scintillation', a most appropriate name because of the luminous pink flowers remaining longer in bloom than most rhododendrons, and the lustrous, dark green foliage fully clothing a compact plant.
Mr. Dexter was most generous in distributing his seedlings. 'Scintillation' was discovered by Paul Vossberg in the New York Botanical Garden and was originally known as NYBG #1. In 1973 A.R.S. gave it an Award of Excellence.
'Scintillation' propagates readily and is proving to be an excellent commercial plant, now being used extensively on both the East and West Coasts. It is a dependable bloomer, the flowers are fragrant, and the plant is hardy to at least 10 degrees below zero. For best performance 'Scintillation' should be planted under slightly shady conditions.