QBARS - v27n3 Rhododendron 'Naomie Pixie' and 'Naomi Astarte'

Two Fine R. 'Naomi' Cultivars
P. H. Brydon

R. 'Naomi Pixie' R. 'Naomi Astarte'
R. 'Naomi Pixie'
Photo by P. H. Brydon
R. 'Naomi Astarte'
Photo by P. H. Brydon

After the sub-zero weather of last December, the various 'Naomi' cultivars were more appreciated than ever for their beauty and hardy constitution. There are six forms of this first rate hybrid in my garden, two of which are illustrated. All the Naomis provided a magnificent display in early May without ill effect from the five below zero temperature. When the late Lionel de Rothschild crossed R. 'Aurora' with R. fortunei he added that extra measure of hardiness which makes the Naomi cultivars unexcelled garden plants.

R. 'Naomi Astarte' with its lovely shadings of pink and yellow, is similar in flower to R. 'Exbury Naomi' although I prefer the latter for it is a much better plant in foliage and habit. R. 'Naomi Pixie' is rather stronger growing than her sisters and will probably outgrow them in time. The flowers, which are the deepest color of all Naomis, have tremendous substance with excellent lasting quality.

By all means, include some of the Naomis in your plantings but, be sure to give them a position under high overhead shade or an east or north exposure so that the delicate shadings will show to advantage in the cooler light. If you want a pleasing color contrast, try planting the Exbury form of R. augustinii with the Naomis. They flower about the same time and the effect is most beautiful.