QBARS - v27n4 R. 'Lionel's Triumph'

R. 'Lionel's Triumph'
Carl H. Phetteplace, M.D., Eugene, Oregon

R. 'Lionel's Triumph'
R. 'Lionel's Triumph'
Photo by C. H. Phetteplace, M.D.

Many years ago Halfdan Lem suggested that R. lacteum might prove to be the best parent for good yellow hybrids. This seems logical when one views a good form of the species in flower. It has good yellow, sturdy looking and perfectly formed trusses. The foliage and plant habit are excellent. Here, after last year's unusual cold, my plant was undamaged and now has three fat flower buds.

Over the years wide use has been made of this species to achieve a hybrid carrying these fine qualities. Unfortunately, as happens so often, the fine color of R. lacteum is not passed on.

Of the many R. lacteum hybrids I have acquired or grown from my crosses none are of merit if yellow flowers are the only consideration. However, some excellent garden rhododendrons have resulted. In my garden the best of these seems to be 'Lionel's Triumph' obtained as a layer eight years ago from Exbury gardens. It is a cross between R. lacteum and 'Naomi' and has all the sturdy appearance of R. lacteum . It grows vigorously and is not fussy about cultivation (except it dislikes afternoon sun). The truss, though it only hints of yellow, is near my idea of perfection in shape. Though the foliage lacks the parent's indumentum, it is deep green and substantial. It was undamaged by last winter's extreme cold.

Several years ago I put one cutting in the rooting bed. Luckily it is now a budded plant, four by four feet in dimension. I like it.