QBARS - v14n2 A Name Suggested for a New Rhododendron

A Name Suggested for A New Rhododendron
by J. Harold Clarke

An interesting suggestion was recently received from Dr. Armando Mencia of Caracas, Venezuela, South America. Dr. Mencia inquired as to whether there were a rhododendron or azalea named 'John Paul Jones', and suggested that if there were not, it would be a very good name for a variety, to commemorate the great American often spoken of as the founder of the American Navy.
Some breeders have more names than they can use, and others are often looking for desirable names. This would seem like a good suggestion for someone who is looking for a pleasant sounding name, and one which would commemorate a very important person. It occurs to me that other readers of the Bulletin , who are not engaged in rhododendron or azalea breeding, might have similar names to suggest. Whether or not they would ever be used by the breeders would be up to them, but I am sure that many breeders would be interested in seeing a list of suggested names.
My reply that I would bring the matter to the attention of the Society membership brought the following letter which I think might be of interest to many readers of the Bulletin :

Caracas, Venezuela, 21 March 1960

The American Rhododendron Society

Long Beach, Washington, U. S. A.

Dear President Clarke,

Please accept my warmest thanks for your kind communication of 17 March 1960 advising that after consulting the "International Rhododendron Register" published about two years ago, which includes all of the known names of rhododendrons and azaleas now in existence, as it does not list any under the glorious name "John Paul Jones," you are good enough to state that you will write a short item for the 'American Rhododendron Society Bulletin' presenting this suggestion to the attention of breeders who certainly will be extremely glad to christen thus a new hybrid Rhododendron, to remind the founder of the American Navy.
Congratulations for the patriotic response. It will be a real pleasure for the Navy League of the United States, I am certain, to learn of such developments and results; and I also take the liberty of sending copy of these lines to Vice Admiral Richard G. Holden Jr. USNR (Ret.), State President for New York, 123 William Street, New York 38, N.Y. for their information.
As you ask me my views regarding the growing of Rhododendrons in the South American Continent, here is another suggestion for your consideration. I admired in December 1958 the Southern coasts of Chile down to Punta Arenas (Estrecho de Magallanes) which can be compared in beauty with those of Norway; and wrote to my distinguished friend H. E. Dr. German Vergara, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, and on 20 October 1959 to the Ministerio de Agricultura, in Santiago de Chile, suggesting that their islands and coasts, in those sections (for instance where there are light houses, of easy access and fine visibility) be planted with Rhododendrons, Peonies, Azaleas. . . . Senor Fernando Atria Ramirez, Administrador, Quinta Normal de Agricultura, in Santiago, by letter of 27 November 1959 informed me that he had sent copy of my letter to the Club de Jardines de Chile" so that they consider the possibility of such plan. I now say: could any lend assistance, in U.S.A. to have "Eisenhower Gardens" in Chile? to remind of President Eisenhower's visit.

Mr. Armando Mencia