QBARS - v27n4 R. 'GiGi' A. E.

R. 'GiGi', A. E.
Gordon E. Jones,
Director, Planting Fields Arboretum

R. 'GiGi'
R. 'GiGi' A. E.
Photo by Joan Knapp

'GiGi', an intriguing and catchy name for a beautiful Dexter hybrid that in recent years has attracted a great deal of admiration in our shows, and not exclusively from male admirers. An original Dexter cross of now unknown parentage, the plant was purchased from the Dexter collection along with many other Dexter seedlings by the popular actress, the late Glenda Farrell, which she planted in her gardens at Brewster, New York.

Originally identified by Miss Farrell under her married name as Ross No. 9, it later became Ross GG when selected by William Effinger, a rhododendron nurseryman enthusiast, as a promising Dexter hybrid. Effinger distributed young plants of Ross GG and other Ross selections for testing and evaluation. Ross GG is exceptionally attractive and generally found to be a good doer. Sidney Burns, a recent past president of the New York Chapter, arranged to register the hybrid in 1972 and appropriately gave it its name of 'GiGi'.

Unique and of special attraction are its prominent deep red freckles or spots generously sprinkled over all lobes of attractive rose red florets (Royal Hort. Society Color Chart 57-C - rose red bengal). Extremely floriferous, the ball shaped trusses usually have 18 large six-lobed florets with brown anthers and white filaments. The wavy-margined florets have good substance and are extremely striking on plants having handsome deep green foliage well furnished and full. The leaves hold well for thee years before dropping, on neat compact plants growing, experience indicates, to four feet or so in ten years. 'GiGi' propagates easily and shapes up early and well.