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Journal American Rhododendron Society

Current Editor:
Dr. Glen Jamieson ars.editor@gmail.com


Volume 51, Number 3
Summer 1997

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Beginners Glossary: Why All the Fuss About the Truss?

        Why do most plants in the garden have "flowers" but rhododendrons have "trusses"? Why does the ARS call its shows "truss shows" when other plant societies are content with "flower shows"?
        Rhodophiles might say the blooms on a rhododendron are so superior to those of other plants that a different name is needed. However, there is a better answer. The growth habit of most rhododendrons is such that a cluster of flowers forms at the end of a branch, each flower bearing its own pistil, stamens, etc., for producing seeds. Collectively the flowers at the end of one branch make a single visual impact, and it is this "collection" of flowers that is called a truss. The classic truss is the ball or dome truss where the flowers are close together and face upward or outward. In the "lax truss" the flowers tend to face downward like bells.

Classic dome-shaped truss    Lax truss
Classic dome-shaped truss.
Drawing by Merilee Mannen
   Lax truss.
Drawing by Merilee Mannen


Volume 51, Number 3
Summer 1997

DLA Ejournal Home | JARS Home | Table of Contents for this issue | Search JARS and other ejournals