by Phillip Nelson
Photo by Bob Badger
(Following the inquiry for more information about R. 'Hotei' from Philip Nelson, Ben Nelson's son, responded in this manner:)
"As to an article on 'Hotel', I don't know what else there is for me to say. That article in RHS is my sum total of knowledge about its origin. The only other things are some items about culture which are both negative and also probably pretty well known already. The plant does not take full sun well. Some plants of mine which have been grown in pots and in fairly well shaded spots have developed very dark green and beautiful foliage and shape. A plant that Karl Sifferman has growing in full sun doesn't even look like the same plant. The plant tends to bloom once every two years. I think some nurserymen have the secret of making it bloom every year, but, left to its own devices, it is an every-other-year bloomer. Also the plants are unusually intolerant of poor drainage. I took a plant from my dad's place which had been in clay soil, but on a steep slope. The next spring it almost completely defoliated and I thought it was a goner. However, after setting in a pot with peat, and in the shade, in two years I had a gorgeous plant."