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Journal American Rhododendron Society

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


Volume 58, Number 1
Winter 2004

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Rhododendron of the Year Awards, 2004: Plant Descriptions
ARS Plant Awards Committee

        The ARS Plant Awards Committee has selected the Rhododendron of the Year awards for 2004. Because of climate differences, the committee selected plants for six regions: an elepidote, a lepidote, a deciduous azalea and an evergreen azalea. The Swisher Award is given to a vireya rhododendron.
        The first criterion was that the plant perform well in the region, even for a novice. That plant had to exhibit good form, foliage and flowers, to prove itself cold and heat hardy for the region, and to show resistance to pests and diseases. In addition, the plant had to be available in the nursery trade.
        Digital imaging was performed by Jack Root.

Northeastern Region
        Elepidote: 'Nestucca' (R. fortunei x R. degronianum ssp yakushimanum.). 1961. Flower white with greenish-brown spotting in throat, openly funnel-shaped, frilly, 5" across. Dome-shaped truss of 12 - 15 flowers. Blooms midseason. Leaves elliptic, 4" long, glossy, dark green. Plant compact with spreading habit and fine foliage. Height 2' in 10 years. Tolerates heat and sun. Flower bud hardy to -10F.
        Lepidote: 'Gable's Pioneer' (R. racemosum x R. mucronulatum) or (R. racemosum x R. mucronulatum) F2. 1991. Flowers rosy mauve-pink, 1" across, held in multiple trusses. Blooms very early along stems in leaf axils. Leaves elliptic, flat, mucronate apex, cuneate base, 2" long, glossy, olive green, semi-deciduous. Plant floriferous, grows upright with multiple branches. Height 6' in 10 years. Hardy to -10F.
        Deciduous Azalea: 'Crimson Tide' (R. 'Homebush' x R. 'Melford Red Letter'). 1983. Flowers strong red (47B), outside of tube strong red (39A), double, 2.25" across, with compact petaloid center. Tight truss of 20-40 flowers. Leaves moderate yellowish green (139B) marked dark green (132A) in autumn. Vigorous grower. Height 5' in 10 years. Hardy to -20F.
        Evergreen Azalea: 'Helen Curtis' (R. 'Desiree' x R. 'Rosebud' (Gable)). 1976. Flowers white without markings, semi-double with 10 frilled lobes, 2.5" across, broadly funnel-shaped. Leaves broadly elliptic, 1.5" long, glossy green. Height 2' in 15 years. Very hardy.

R. 'Nestucca'     R. 'Gable's Pioneer'
Elepidote: 'Nestucca'
Photo by Eleanor Philp
    Lepidote: 'Gable's Pioneer'
Photo by Harold Greer
 
R. 'Crimson Tide'     R. 'Helen Curtis'
Deciduous Azalea: 'Crimson Tide'
Photo by Peter Girard, Sr.
    Evergreen Azalea: 'Helen Curtis'
Photo by Ed Reiley

Mid Atlantic Region
        Elepidote: 'Gigi' (parentage unknown). 1973. Flower vivid purplish red with deep red spotting throughout, openly funnel-shaped, wavy lobes, 3.25" across. Ball-shaped truss of 15 - 18 flowers. Blooms late midseason. Leaves narrowly elliptic to elliptic, broadly acute apex, rounded base, 4 1/2" long, moderate olive green, retained 3 years. Broad, dense plant habit. Height 4' - 5' in 10 years. Flower bud hardy to -10F. Prefers a shady location.
        Lepidote: 'April Pink' (R. minus var chapmanii x R. mucronulatum 'Cornell Pink'). 1994. Flowers pale purplish-pink with heavy red spotting in throat, 1.5" across, funnel-shaped, fragrant. Lax truss with 3 flowers. Blooms early. Leaves elliptic, broadly acute apex, cuneate base, 1.38" long, retained 3 years. Plant habit compact. Height 3' in 10 years. Flower bud hardy to -10F.
        Deciduous Azalea: 'Crimson Tide' (R. 'Homebush' x R. 'Melford Red Letter'). 1983. Flowers strong red (47B), outside of tube strong red (39A), double, 2.25" across, with compact petaloid center. Tight truss of 20-40 flowers. Leaves moderate yellowish green (139B) marked dark green (132A) in autumn. Vigorous grower. Height 5' in 10 years. Hardy to -20F.
        Evergreen Azalea: 'Girard's Fuchsia' ([R. 'Sandra Ann' x (R. 'Herbert' x R. 'Girard's Hot Shot')] x R. 'Sandra Ann'). 1981. Flowers deep reddish purple (71A) inside with strong purplish red (72A) spotting on ruffled lobes, strong reddish purple (72C) outside, broadly funnel-shaped, 2.5" - 3" wide, 5 wavy-edged lobes. Leaves 1.8" long, glossy green above, partly reddish in winter below. Height 2' in 4 years. Flower bud hardy to -15F.

R. 'Gigi'     R. 'April Pink'
Elepidote: 'Gigi'
Photo by Harold Greer
    Lepidote: 'April Pink'
Photo by Donald Hyatt
 
R. 'Crimson Tide'     R. 'Girard's Fuchsia'
Deciduous Azalea: 'Crimson Tide'
Photo by Peter Girard, Sr.
    Evergreen Azalea: 'Girard's Fuchsia'
Photo by Harold Greer

Southeastern Region
        Elepidote: 'English Roseum' (R. catawbiense x unknown). 1958. Flower soft rose-pink. Dome shaped truss. Blooms late midseason. Leaves smooth, plentiful, medium glossy green. Plant has good dense habit but can get very large. Height 6' in 10 yrs. Flower bud hardy to -25F. This vigorous hybrid is tolerant of extremes in cold, heat and humidity.
        Deciduous Azalea: 'Colonel Mosby'. Not registered. Pink and yellow flowers, 1.5" Truss contains 6 - 10 flowers. Hardy to zone 6.
        Evergreen Azalea: 'Autumn Royalty' autumn royalty). (R. 'Georgia Giant' x R. 'Fourth of July'). 1997. Inside strong purplish red (71C) with strong purplish red (64B) spotting on dorsal lobe and upper wings. Outside strong purplish red (71D). Flowers openly funnel-shaped, single, 2.6" - 2.8" x 3.5" - 3.9" wide, 5 wavy-edged lobes, 3 - 4 per bud. Ball truss of 1 - 3 buds. Blooms spring and fall, 2-3 weeks in March - April followed by intermittent flowering as new buds mature from July until frost. Leaves elliptic, flat, cuneate base, acute apex, 2.2" - 2.8" x 0.8" - 1.6" wide, dull, moderate olive green (147A) above, with hairs on both surfaces, white and soft at first, becoming dark grayish reddish brown (200A) and less numerous. Shrub habit dense, globose, 6' - 8' x 4' - 5' in 8 - 10 years. Encore Azalea hybrid.

R. 'English Roseum'
Elepidote: 'English Roseum'
Photo by Harold Greer
 
R. 'Colonel Mosby'     R. 'Autumn Royalty'
Deciduous Azalea: 'Colonel Mosby'
Photo by Thayer Dodd
    Evergreen Azalea: 'Autumn Royalty'
Photo by Robert E. Lee

Midwestern Region
        Elepidote: 'Ken Janeck' (R. degronianum ssp yakushimanum x unknown). 1964. Flower purplish pink fading to white, upper lobe spotted strong yellow green, openly funnel-shaped, 2.5" across. Compact truss of about 12 flowers. Blooms midseason. Leaves oblanceolate, acute apex, re-curved, dark green with thick indumentum beneath. Compact, mounding plant. Grows twice as wide as high. Height 2.5' in 10 years. Hardy to -15F.
        Lepidote: 'Weston's Aglo' (R. minus, compact form x R. dauricum hybrid). 1998. Flowers moderate purplish pink (66D) with coppery reddish spotting in dorsal throat, 1.5" wide, broadly funnel-shaped, wavy edges. Small dome shaped truss of about 8 flowers. Blooms early midseason. Leaves elliptic, acute apex, cuneate base, 2.25" long, glossy, green, retained 1 year. Plant has open habit. Height 3' - 4' in 10 years. Flower bud hardy to -15F. Sun tolerant.
        Deciduous Azalea: 'Rosy Lights' (R. prinophyllum x R. kosterianum). Not registered. Name conflict. Flowers single, deep purplish pink (55A) with reddish orange dorsal spotting, open funnel-campanulate, 8 per truss, 2.4" wide, 5-lobed. Leaves oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic, 3" long, moderate yellowish green (138A), bullate, hairy; mottled dark red (187B) in autumn. Shrub 6' tall x 4' wide in 24 years. Blooms late May. Hardy to at least -40F.
        Evergreen Azalea: 'Girard's Fuchsia' ([R. 'Sandra Ann' x (R. 'Herbert' x R. 'Girard's Hot Shot')] x R. 'Sandra Ann'). 1981. Flowers deep reddish purple (71A) inside with strong purplish red (72A) spotting on ruffled lobes, strong reddish purple (72C) outside, broadly funnel-shaped, 2.5" - 3" wide, 5 wavy-edged lobes. Leaves 1.8" long, glossy green above, partly reddish in winter below. Height 2' in 4 years. Flower bud hardy to -15F.

R. 'Ken Janeck'     R. 'Weston's Aglo'
Elepidote: 'Ken Janeck'
Photo by Eleanor Philp
    Lepidote: 'Weston's Aglo'
Photo by R. Wayne Mezitt
 
R. 'Rosy Lights'     R. 'Girard's Fuchsia'
Deciduous Azalea: 'Rosy Lights'
Photo by Harold Greer
    Evergreen Azalea: 'Girard's Fuchsia'
Photo by Harold Greer

Northwestern
        Elepidote: 'Percy Wiseman' (R. degronianum ssp yakushimanum x R. 'Fabia Tangerine', selfed). 1969. Cream, growing darker towards base, very lightly flushed paler than pale purplish pink (55D), and spotted moderate orange (167B) on the dorsal lobe. Flowers fade to creamy white with yellow throat. Truss of 13 - 15 flowers. Blooms midseason. Leaves elliptic, acute at apex, cuneate at base, 3" long, glossy, dark green. Compact, well-branched plant. Height 3' in 10 years. Flower bud hardy to 5F.
        Lepidote: 'Dora Amateis' (R. minus Carolinianum Group x R. ciliatum). 1958. Flowers white with faint greenish yellow spotting, broadly funnel-shaped, 2" across, held in lax truss of 6 - 8 flowers. Blooms early midseason. Leaves 1.5" - 2.5" long, re-curved, fairly dark green. Dense foliage. Plant vigorous, floriferous, and aromatic. Grows twice as wide as high. Height 3' in 10 years. Hardy to -15F. Prefers some shade for best performance.
        Deciduous Azalea: 'Arneson Gem'. ([R. 'C.B. van Nes' x R. 'Koster's Brilliant Red'] x unknown). 1989. Flower interior is yellow-orange bicolor, exterior is strong red. Flowers single, 5 smooth-edged lobes, broadly funnel shaped, lightly scented. Ball shaped truss of 10 - 15 flowers, 2.8" x 3.7" wide. Blooms early- to mid-May. Leaves elliptic, flat, 2.5" - 3.5" x 1.3" - 1.5" wide, slightly hairy, apiculate apex, cuneate base. Compact habit, 3' x 4' in 12 years.
        Evergreen Azalea: 'Fascination' (R. 'Grace Freeman' No. 2 x R. 'Amagasa'). Not registered; name in conflict. Flowers pink in the center with red border, 4.5" across. Height 2.5' in 9 years. Hardy to 0F.

R. 'Percy Wiseman'     R. 'Dora Amateis'
Elepidote: 'Percy Wiseman'
Photo by Harold Greer
    Lepidote: 'Dora Amateis'
Photo by Harold Greer
 
R. 'Arneson Gem'     R. 'Fascination'
Deciduous Azalea: 'Arneson Gem'
Photo by Harold Greer
    Evergreen Azalea: 'Fascination'
Photo by Harold Greer

Southwestern Region
        Elepidote: 'Vulcan' (R. 'Mars' x R. griersonianum). 1958. Flowers blood red, unmarked. Dome shaped truss of about 10 flowers. Blooms late midseason. Leaves 4.8" long, acute apex, cuneate base, dark green, red stems. Grows into a magnificent green mound. Height 4' - 5' in 10 years. Flower bud hardy to -15F. Plant prefers filtered afternoon light. Several different clones sold under this name.
        Lepidote: R. formosum (Subsection Maddenia). Flowers are fragrant, white, sometimes tinged with rose or yellow in the throat or striped with rose, openly funnel-campanulate. Blooms early midseason to late midseason. Leaves elliptic to linear obovate, up to 4.5" long, hairy, shiny green on top, and waxy blue green on bottom, margins bristly. Plant is fairly compact to straggly. Height 4' in 10 years. Hardy to 10F.
        Deciduous Azalea: 'My Mary' (R. 'Nacoochee' x R. austrinum). 1984. Flowers brilliant yellow (11A), 2.5" across, 5-lobed with a narrow tube, fragrant. Truss of 25 flowers. Blooms early midseason. Leaves obovate to elliptic, 1.2" long. Shrub about 4' x 4', stoloniferous.
        Evergreen Azalea: 'George Lindley Taber' (sport of R. 'Omurasaki'). 1958. Flowers white flushed light to strong purplish pink, blotch darker, 3.5" across. Blooms midseason. Height 3' 4' in 10 years.

R. 'Vulcan'     R. formosum
Elepidote: 'Vulcan'
Photo by Eleanor Philp
    Lepidote: R. formosum
Photo by Eleanor Philp
 
R. 'My Mary'     R. 'George Lindley Taber'
Deciduous Azalea: 'My Mary'
Photo by Mary Beasley
    Evergreen Azalea: 'George Lindley Taber'
Photo by Harold Greer

Swisher/Vireya
'Jock's Cairn'. (parentage unknown). 1994. Flowers strong red (41B) lobes with strong pink (52D) throat, narrow star-shaped band of darker color between the two, narrowly tubular funnelshaped, tube narrow cylinder for lower 0.8", 2.2" x 2.0" wide, 5 smooth-edged lobes. Dome shaped truss of 10 14 flowers, 4" x 6" wide. Blooms August to December. Leaves elliptic, concave, broadly acute apex, cuneate base, 4.5" x 2", dull, deep green and hairless above, with tan scales below; petioles scaly. Shrub habit dense, 4.3' x 5.2' in 15 years. Not cold hardy below 32F.

R. 'Jock's Cairn'
Vireya: 'Jock's Cairn'
Photo by Bill Moynier


Volume 58, Number 1
Winter 2004

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