Ten New U. S. D. A. Azaleas
R. M. Salter, Chief of Bureau
These varieties have been grown and tested by nurserymen in widely scattered sections of the country. They were selected from 300 seedlings that were saved from approximately 50,000 grown over a five-year period. The remaining 290 are still being tested and additional varieties will be introduced from time to time as they prove their worth. All these varieties were developed primarily for outdoor culture, but several show promise for greenhouse forcing.
'POLAR BEAR' (Tested as No. 20). This variety was obtained from the cross 'Firefly' x 'Snow'. They are both hardy varieties and 'Polar Bear' has proved fully as hardy as its parents. The plant branches moderately, is rather erect, with persistent foliage; the leaves are medium green when mature. When grown as a pot plant, pinching is necessary. The flowers are hose-in-hose type, about 1½ inches across, white with the throat slightly tinted yellowish-green. The petals are broad with slight serrations on the margins; stamens 5; filaments and style white. The plants are very floriferous and cuttings root readily, more rapidly than 'Snow'. 'Polar Bear' seems very promising as a greenhouse forcing variety in addition to being suitable for outdoor planting.
'PINK PROFUSION' (Tested as No. 47). This is a sister seedling to 'Polar Bear'. It has proved as hardy as its parents, 'Firefly' and 'Snow'. The plant is a vigorous grower, usually attaining a height 11 times the spread. The leaves are dark green, broad at the tips, narrowing gradually back to the peticle. The flowers are hose-in-hose type, from 1½ to 2 inches across, pink fading to light pink as they mature, and with very few dark pink spots in the throat. The plants are profuse bloomers and have proved hardy wherever tried.
R. 'H. H. Hume'. One of the fine new azaleas
released by the US Dept. of Agriculture.
'ROSE BANNER' (Tested as No. 126). This variety was obtained from crossing kaempferi x 'Snow'. The plant has an open-type growth attaining a spread about equal to its height. The foliage is almost identical with that of the variety Snow. The flowers are hose-in-hose type, about 1 inches across, rose colored, with dark pink spots in the throat. It has proved to be as hardy as its parents.
'GUY YERKES' (Tested as No. 135). This is a hybrid obtained from crossing kaempferi x 'Snow'. The plants are profusely branched, with large dark glossy green leaves; foliage persistent making an attractive garden plant throughout the year. The hose-in-hose flowers are 1¾ to 2¼ inches across, and borne in clusters of 3 to 5. They are salmon pink in color, opening a dark pink and fading to a light pink, being very attractive at all times. The appearance of the flower is enhanced by the presence of dark pink spots in the throat of the flower. There are 5 to 7 anthers. This variety has been tried out in all sections of the country with favorable reports from New England, Middle Atlantic States, South, Midwest, Texas, California, and Pacific Northwest. It is a particularly fine garden variety, with possibilities as a greenhouse forcing type.
'WHITE BANNER' (Tested as No. 136). This variety is a sister seedling to 'Rose Banner'. The plant is vigorous with a tendency toward producing a low-spreading growth, often being only half as tall as broad. The foliage is very similar to 'Snow', but is larger. The flowers are hose-in-hose, about 1 to 1¼ inch across, white with a faint yellowish tinge in the throat.
'ROSE GLORY' (Tested as No. 142). This variety is a seedling from the same progeny that produced 'Rose Banner' and 'White Banner'. The plant forms a spreading bush about as tall as it is broad. The flowers are hose-in-hose, about 1⅛ to 1¼ inches across, rose with dark red spots in the throat.
'MAJESTIC PINK' (Tested as No. 168). This plant was obtained from a cross between an unnamed kaempferi hybrid and the variety 'Snow'. The foliage is semi-persistent. Flowers are hose-in-hose type, about 1 34 inches across, clear rose pink, with throat faintly marked with darker pink dots. Petals are flat, margins rounded. The plant is semi-erect, and requires pinching to promote branching.
'WHITE PERFECTION' (Tested as No. 221) This variety was obtained from a cross between 'Indica Alba' and 'Snow'. The plant is moderately branched, erect spreading, with persistent foliage. The flowers are hose-in-hose type, about 2 inches across, white with throat faintly tinged greenish-yellow. The plants are moderately floriferous.
'H. H. HUME' (Tested as No. 224). (FIG. 14) This is a hybrid obtained from the cross 'Indica Alba' x 'Snow'. The plant is moderately branched, erect-spreading with foliage partially persistent, depending on temperatures encountered. The flowers are white, with a faintly yellowish throat, hose-in-hose; petals moderately broad, 2 inches across. Flowers 2 to 5 per cluster. Stamens mostly 5; filaments and style white. Moderately floriferous. Hardy in New England and making an especially fine plant in the South, Southeast, and in California. It is also acceptable as a greenhouse forcing variety.
'SNOWHITE' (Tested as No. 226). This variety is a sister seedling to 'White Perfection'. Plant has spreading habit of growth, being broader than tall. The flowers are hose-in-hose type, about 2 inches across, white with throat faintly tinged yellowish-green. 'Snowhite' has proved very promising as a greenhouse forcing variety as well as for outdoor culture.
Stocks of these varieties are being increased by commercial nurserymen, under cooperative arrangements between this Bureau and the American Association of Nurserymen. The Bureau of Plant Industry, Soils, and Agricultural Engineering has no plants or propagating material available for general distribution. For more detailed information on these varieties address inquiries to S. L. Emsweller, Plant Industry Station, Beltsville, Maryland. Information as to sources of plants of the various varieties may be obtained from Mr. Richard P. White, Secretary, American Association of Nurserymen, Washington, D.C.