QBARS - v13n2 Rare Dwarf Rhododendrons Given To Portland Test Garden

Rare Dwarf Rhododendrons Given Portland Test Garden
Bob Bovee

R. sargentianum
Fig. 30.  A plant of R. sargentianum at least thirty
years old from the Hart Collection.
Bovee photo

One of the outstanding collections of dwarf rhododendrons in the country, that of the late Mrs. Philip Hart, was recently given the Test Garden in Portland, Oregon. This group of plants was not only noted for the size and age of the plants but for a number of especially fine forms. Many of these plants were from 20 to 30 years old and made three station wagon loads when moved. R. camtschaticum , a deciduous creeper native to Alaska and Siberia, is a very good color. R. flavidum is the deepest yellow we have seen in this species. There were several forms of R. radicans but the most interesting one is a tiny creeper, only an inch or two high, discovered by George Forrest about 1921. Three plants of R. orthocladum , each about 30 inches across, always put on a wonderful spring show. Four very large R. sargentianum (Fig. 30), each measuring 20" to 24" across are perhaps the largest specimens of this species in the country. They never bloomed heavily but easily were the most striking plants in the group because of their dense growth habit, dark green foliage in the early spring and bright green new leaves later. Among the other large plants in this collection are R. impeditum , R. intricatum , R. pemakoense , R. scintillans , several R. hippophaeoides , R. fastigiatum , R. chryseum and several plants of the Glaucum series. The entire collection is now planted in a special grouping in the rockery at the Test Garden.