Report of Nineteenth Annual Meeting Of The
American Rhododendron Society
Portland, Oregon, May 11, 1963
by Ruth M. Hansen, Sec.-Treas.
The Annual Meeting took place at the Multnomah Hotel, Portland, May 11, 1963. Mr. John Henny, President of the Portland Chapter, thanked everyone who had worked on the Chapter show, which opened at the National Test Garden at noon of this day under cloudy and showery weather conditions. After a few additional remarks Mr. Henny turned the meeting over to the National President, Dr. J. Harold Clarke.
Dr. Clarke welcomed everyone then took a roll call of chapters. Those represented were Seattle, Tacoma, Olympic Peninsula, Vancouver, B.C., Eugene, California, New York, Middle Atlantic and the host chapter, Portland. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dumper represented the New York Chapter and Mr. Newton Edwards the Middle Atlantic Chapter. Mr. H. G. Greer of Middlesex, England was also present.
The Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. Ruth M. Hansen, made a brief report on the financial standing of the Society. She then made a plea for members to be more prompt in forwarding to her any change in their addresses.
A panel discussion on "New Varieties Becoming Established in Your Area," had as speakers Brian 0. Mulligan, Donald McClure, Carl Fawcett and Dr. Carl Phetteplace.
Carl Fawcett pointed out that it is an exceedingly slow business for new varieties to become established and available to the public. He then told of the fine yellow hybrid developed by Bill Whitney of Brinnon, Wash., called 'Hurricane'; of Lester Brandt's 'Blue Indigo' and 'Reve Rose'; of H. L. Larson's work with R.. strigillosum and the resulting fine red variety with 30 flowers to 'a truss, which has been named 'Edna Borough'. Another fine hybrid is 'Iviza' x R. campylocarpum named 'Margie Baird.' The late Endre Ostbo is responsible for a number of fine hybrids, namely 'Mrs. Edna McCarty' and 'Mary Harmon', the latter an azaleodendron, a cross between 'Mrs. Donald Graham' and R. occidentale . This was given an award of excellence.
Donald McClure stated that in the past two years there have been 11 P.A. awards granted in the Seattle area among which are the following: Lem's 'Replete,' 'White Cap', 'Cream Bowl', and 'Lem's Cameo'; Bill Whitney's 'Little Gem' and H. L. Larson's 'Edna Boroughs'.
Dr. Carl Phetteplace told of the fine work done by the late Del James of Eugene, Ore. and the excellent quality of his 'Tumalo' and 'Fawn' both of which received P.A. awards. Rudolph Henny is well known for his 'C.I.S.', a fine rhododendron that has been around for some time and is a real break in rhododendron hybridizing. The late Dr. Royal Gick created a plant of an orange red color by crossing 'Lady Bird' with R. neriiflorum x R. discolor . Today at the chapter show we have seen an excellent white hybrid, a plant entered by Bob Comerford of R. yakushimanum x 'Harvest Moon.' "In my own garden," said Dr. Phetteplace, "I have a R. macabeanum x 'Loderi King George' cross made by H. L. Larson a number of years ago. This plant has large leaves and a fine cream-colored truss."
Brian O. Mulligan mentioned additional breeders in the Seattle area. The late Clarence Prentice developed a dwarf hybrid called 'Debbie' which is an improvement on 'Carmen.' James Caperci is well known for his R. campylogynum hybrid 'Patricia,' a small bush, free flowering with deep purple flowers. His R. chrysanthum x R. degronianum is another dwarf, 12 to 18 inches tall with white to cream flowers.
The Arboretum has been propagating a number of useful early flowering dwarf varieties among which is one named 'Jean,' R. spiciferum x R. ciliatum . It is similar to 'Racil' but better, being more compact. A selected form of R. reticulatum , received from the National Arboretum, Washington, D.C. is being grown at the Arboretum. This variety flowers the 2nd. week of April and is a rose color and more dense in habit of growth. Our selected Loderi name 'Mrs. A. F. McEwan' was grown from Mr. Ihrig's seedlings which were crossed in 1940. We also have a selected form of a pink R. fortunei with good dark purple leaf stalks. 'Cream Bowl' by Halfdan Lem is being propagated by nurseries in the Seattle area.
Gold Medal Awarded
Dr. Donald McClure conducted Mr. Halfdan Lem to the rostrum where President Dr. J. Harold Clarke read a citation for his horticultural achievement and presented the Society's Gold Medal to him.
Talk by P. H. Brydon
Mr. John Henny then introduced the speaker of the evening, Mr. P. H. Brydon, Director of the Strybing Arboretum of Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, Calif. Mr. Brydon told that the Arboretum of Golden Gate Park began back in 1870 but in 1924, when Mrs. H. Strybing died, she left a sum of $200,000 for the building 'and development of a real arboretum, and since then work has been carried on to this end.
Mr. Brydon defined an arboretum as a library of living plants to be studied, properly labeled and enjoyed. The Strybing Arboretum contains priceless things like the 30' to 40' tall Magnolia campbellii . The California Chapter of the ARS has put up the sum of $1000 to purchase special plant collections. This year many rare specimens were acquired from Mrs. Rae James of Eugene, Ore. The intention is to specialize in species and concentrate on those species suitable to the San Francisco climate with its drippy, wet fogs from January to September. This cool growing temperature is most suitable for the Maddenii and Irroratum series and the big-leaved fellows. Species more suitable to the northwestern gardens of Oregon and Washington will not be tested in the Strybing Arboretum.
A planting of the Javanicum species grown from seed sent to us by Dr. Sleumer will be made in the warmest and most protected area in the Arboretum. Some of these species crossed with some of the Maddenii should create interesting new colors.
A major portion of Mr. Brydon's talk was devoted to magnolias and his beautiful colored slides of the many fine varieties growing in the Strybing Arboretum were greatly appreciated.
Other areas of development were touched upon, and shown in the slides, including the Rock Garden which contains 200 species of true dwarf conifers, interspersed with alpine plants to soften the effect, and the rhododendron hedge of R. burmanicum 100 feet long and I0 feet high growing in full sun. The following rhododendrons were especially mentioned as being well adapted to the San Francisco area: 'Cilpinense', 'Saffron Queen', 'Countess of Haddington', R. nuttallii , R. dalhousiae , 'Fragrantissimum', 'Else Frye', 'Cal Stocker', 'Cotton Candy' and the Exbury azaleas.
The meeting was adjourned with the reminder that the next annual meeting would be held in Seattle in 1964.