Rhododendron 'Hawk' var. 'Crest' F.C.C.
By P. H. Brydon
Fig. 30 R. 'Hawk' var. 'Crest' F.C.C.
We are indebted to Mr. Peter Barber of Exbury for the splendid illustration of R. 'Hawk' var. 'Crest' which received a First Class Certificate from the Royal Horticultural Society in London on April 28th 1953. The usually conservative R. H. S. Journal describes it as "a magnificent yellow flowered hybrid of great merit" with a large truss of 12 primrose yellow flowers each of which is 4 inches wide and 2½ inches deep. (Fig. 30).
Other forms of R. 'Hawk' which I have seen do not compare in size to 'Crest' and the foliage on young plants which I received from Exbury last spring is darker green, larger, and of much better texture. The genetic make-up of this famous hybrid reflects good breeding and includes an Award of Merit species, R. wardii, and an F. C. C. hybrid, 'Lady Bessborough' the latter being the outcome of R. discolor and R. campylocarpum var. elatum.
R. 'Hawk' var. 'Crest' is surely one of many first class rhododendrons to come from Exbury. The late Lionel de Rothschild had the means at his disposal to procure the best forms in species and hybrids plus the rare ability to select suitable parents to produce some of the finest rhododendron hybrids in existence.