QBARS - v2n4 Report on Bloom

Report on Bloom
Lester Brandt

One of the most beautiful plants I have is rhododendron 'Azor'. It is about 6 ft. across and 5½ ft. high, and is now (June 25th) almost a solid mass of rich salmon pink flowers, dark in the throat. Some of the flowers are nearly five inches across and as many as sixteen to the truss. Another very fine one is 'Fabia' x discolor , or 'Margaret Dunn'. The flowers are peach color and broad bell shaped. A large plant of this is very striking.
One more fine one is 'Alice' x auriculatum . The flowers are a delicate pink, lily shaped, with a ruffled rim. It is just opening now and will be in bloom for several weeks.
Still another unnamed one is 'Nereid' x discolor . It is just beginning to open and has very waxy, deep salmon colored flowers, almost red in the throat.
There are other more familiar ones still blooming, such as 'Fabia', 'Romany Chai', 'Tallyho', 'Radium' ('Earl of Athlone' x griersonianum ), 'C. P. Rafill' ('Britannia' x griersonianum ), and a number of the dwarf azalea Indica hybrids.
Rhododendron bloom this year was phenomenal, as practically everything was well budded, small grafts as well as large plants in the named varieties. A number of three year old seedling crosses also bloomed enough to see the color and type of flower. However, they will have to be older before they can be judged accurately.
The new growth this year is very fine too. I just measured new shoots on 'Beauty of Littleworth' and 'Snow Queen', 14 in. long and still growing, and on others in proportion. Of course the warm cloudy weather and heavy rain in the late spring had a lot to do with this.
I have been using well rotted cow manure and peat moss as a mulch, as. I think the more organic food a rhododendron gets, the better it will performs.
A number of species rhododendrons also bloomed for me this season. Since. they had the same treatment as the hybrids, I am going to continue it, as: some of them were very young. Most of them are not as showy as hybrids, but the various types of foliage, and delicately colored bells or trumpet shaped flowers, add interest to any planting. The Triflorum and Heliolepis series, especially, help to break up the monotony of the heavier foliaged hybrids, and the coloring of the new growth is almost as interesting as the bloom.
Among the rhododendrons still in bud are 'Exburiense', didymum and auriculatum , which just about finishes the larger varieties, except for some that may bloom out of season.
Some of the Lapponicums are setting buds for the second blooming period, and when they are over, in August and September, the rhododendrons are finished for the year.