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

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

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

'Windbeam' has rapidly become one of the most popular small-leaved hybrids on the East Coast because of its superior plant habit, reliable hardiness and abundant flowering. A seedling of the late Joseph Gable's 'Conestoga', a cross between R. carolinianum x R. racemosum , which was grown, selected and named by Guy Nearing after an impressive performance in his plantings in northern New Jersey.

'Windbeam' has attractive evergreen leaves like those of R. carolinianum but much smaller, the branches slender and graceful, the habit dwarfish and compact, with many stems spreading from the base. The original plant, raised at Ridgewood, New Jersey, grew to a height of six feet in its first twenty years. Flowers open in large erect clusters smothering the whole plant about May 10th in New Jersey and on Long Island, with bloom apricot in tint in bud to pure white when fully open. After three or four days the white flowers become suffused with soft pink. Sterile and setting no seeds, the faded flowers need not be removed, and the plant produces a great abundance of bloom every year. Mr. Nearing reports that flower buds may be injured at temperatures of 20° or so below zero.

Certainly one of the most floriferous hybrids, 'Windbeam' makes an admirable display in a foundation planting or evergreen shrub border, best with light shade. Plants respond well to pruning. It propagates readily from cuttings.