QBARS - v28n1 R. 'Sugar Pink'

R. 'Sugar Pink'
Harold Greer, Eugene, Oregon

R. 'Sugar Pink'
R. 'Sugar Pink'
Photo by Harold Greer

When a plant receives the highest award offered to a rhododendron, I often wonder whether it will pass on some of its better traits to its progeny. There are only two plants that have received a Superior Plant Award, R. 'Cameo' and R. 'Trude Webster'. Neither is old enough to be the parent of too many hybrids. 'Trude Webster' however, is the parent of one hybrid that is being named. It is 'Sugar Pink' and is a cross of 'Trude Webster' and ('Fawn x 'Queen of the May').
It has a huge conical truss about 12 inches tall and 5 inches across. It is a beautiful shade of pink that reminds me of a huge stick of cotton candy, the kind you looked forward to getting when you went to the county fair. The foliage is very large and glossy on very heavy stems. I have occasionally seen stems of new growth on 'Sugar Pink' that were 5 inches in diameter. It will make a large plant growing six inches per year and occasionally as much as 12 inches. As a young seedling it had by far the best foliage of all the seedlings grown that year. When it flowered it was not a disappointment and won a trophy for the Best New American Hybrid at the national ARS show. Though it is too new to have gone through many cold winters, it did come through our unseasonable -12° F. spell.
The foliage and flower definitely are reminiscent of its parent 'Trude Webster'. Also like 'Trude Webster,' it propagates without difficulty.
This variety appears to be a plant that can live up to the rigid standards of its parent.