QBARS - v32n1 International Rhododendron Conference, 05/15-17/78

International Rhododendron Conference May 15-17, 1978

The genus Rhododendron (including azalea) consists of somewhere between 800-900 species of terrestrial and epiphytic shrubs. Nearly 95% of the species occur in eastern and southeastern Asia and Malesia. Most species are found in the wet montane forests of the northern hemisphere often becoming dwarfs in the alpine zone. The genus, with many large and dwarf forms and their hybrids, is one of the most important of all garden plants.
In addition to a considerable horticultural interest in Rhododendron, a great deal of exciting research in taxonomy, pathology, entomology, physiological responses, tissue culture and the like is occurring throughout the world. The long-accepted classification of rhododendrons has been challenged in the last several years by some newly proposed systematics. As various authors have become proponents of one view or the other, often with self-generated modifications, it appears that the time has come to present contrasting interpretations to knowledgeable devotees for serious consideration.
A Pacific Rhododendron Conference was held in Melbourne, Australia, in 1970, but the last international gatherings of rhododendron specialists have traditionally dealt mainly with authoritative accounts of exploration, hybridization, and reviews of major collections. The American Rhododendron Society and The New York Botanical Garden are now planning an International Rhododendron Conference to be held May 15-17, 1978, at The New York Botanical Garden. The 1978 Conference Organizing Committee has invited 15-20 world-renowned authorities from Asia, Europe, New Zealand and the United States to present papers outlining recent studies and their findings. The Conference will bring together reports on new developments in disease and insect control, recent studies of Malaysian rhododendrons, the classification of azaleas, chemical and morphological investigations, and Rhododendron nomenclature. However, the main emphasis will be on a search for consensus on the classification of rhododendrons. Approximately one hour will be devoted to the presentation and discussion of each paper. In addition to the invited papers, a half-day session will be assigned to drafting a consensus of the group on nomenclature. The proceedings will be published.
The Conference is timed to coincide with the Spring floral displays at the New York Botanical Garden, including the dogwoods, the Rock Garden, and the Native Plant Garden, and with the opening of the historic Conservatory, which has been completely restored to its original architectural form. The Conference will immediately precede the annual meeting of the American Rhododendron Society, to be held on Long Island May 19-21, a three-day program with speakers and tours of notable rhododendron collections, which all Conference participants will be encouraged to attend.

Speakers who are to participate in the Conference
Mr. C. D. Brickell , Director, The Royal Horticultural Society's Garden, Wisley, Woking, Surrey, England. A widely-known author and lecturer with an extensive knowledge of Rhododendron taxonomy, he acts as Registrar for The Royal Horticultural Society, which is the international registration authority for cultivar names in the genus Rhododendron .
Dr. D. F. Chamberlain , Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland. Has done the taxonomy of the elepidote Rhododendrons. He is currently working with Dr. J. Cullen on a revision of Rhododendron (excluding Sect. Vireya). Dr. Chamberlain will speak on "The Taxonomy of Elepidote Rhododendron excluding Azalea."
Dr. Duane Coyier , Ornamentals Plant Research, Corvallis, Oregon. He is a pathologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He will speak on "Disease Control on Rhododendrons."
Dr. J. Cullen , Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland. Is one of the world's leading taxonomists on the genus Rhododendron and has worked extensively on the modern revision of the genus. He will speak on "Rhododendron Nomenclature."
Dr. J. B. Harborne , Botany Department of The University, Reading, Berks, England. Best known for his work on secondary metabolites (chemistry) of plants. Has made an extensive survey of leaf flavonoids and simple phenols in Rhododendron. His topic will be "Flavonoids and other phenolics as taxonomic markers in the genus Rhododendron. "
Dr. Johannes B. Hedegaard , Lyngby, Denmark, has studied the seeds, seedlings, and capsules with associated hairs in Rhododendron. He will talk on "Morphological Investigations on Rhododendrons."
Dr. R. Hegenauer , Professor of Pharmakognosie, Universtat Leiden, Holland, author of a five-volume encyclopedic work on the chemistry of plants. One of the founders of the discipline of chemotaxonomy. His topic will be "Chemotaxonomy of Ericaceae. "
Dr. Bruce L. King , Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, Virginia. Has done extensive research on the flavonoids of the native Azaleas of North America (Rhododendron: subgenus Pentanthera). He will speak on "The Systematic Implications of Flavonoids in Rhododendron subgenus Pentanthera."
Dr. B. A. Knights , University of Glasgow, Scotland. Has analyzed the leaf waxes of about 350 species of Rhododendron, the results of which have taxonomic significance. His topic will be "Taxonomy of Rhododendrons based upon waxes."
Dr. D. G. Nielsen , Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Wooster, Ohio. An entomologist, he is known among specialists for his research on Black Vine Weevil, a pest of major importance in the cultivation of Rhododendrons. He will speak on "Control of Insects that Attack Rhododendrons."
Prof. W. R. Philipson and Dr. Melva Philipson , University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. Work as a botanical team. He is known among specialists as an authority on the genus, as is Mrs. Philipson, most recently for their definitive revision of the classification of a large group of lepidotes known as the Lapponicum Series. They are presently reviewing the Azaleas. Have also done extensive research on the nodal anatomy, cotyledons and embryology of the genus Rhododendron. Professor Philipson will speak on "Problems in the Classification of the Azalea Complex" and Dr.. Philipson on "Cotyledons and Rhododendron Classification."
Dr. Almut Seithe , Cologne, West Germany, is a world expert on the trichomes of Rhododendron and Solanum. His topic will be "Rhododendron Hairs and Taxonomy."
Dr. H. Sleumer , The Rijksherbarium, Leiden, Holland. The world's authority on taxonomy of Malaysian Rhododendrons and has contributed much to many of the changes and classifications within the genus. He will speak on "Rhododendron Nomenclature."
Dr. P. F. Stevens , Arnold Arboretum, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Has worked extensively with the Malaysian Rhododendron group and explored in New Guinea. Also interested in distributions of flower types in Sect. Vireya and their significance. His talk will be on "Malaysian Rhododendrons and their Taxonomy."


Sunday evening, May 14 Reception, Hilton Hotel, Tarrytown, N.Y.
Monday , May 15 At The New York Botanical Garden
Morning Session Papers (3) and Discussion
Noon Picnic Lunch in Garden
Afternoon Session Papers (3) and Discussion
Evening Dinner: Snuff Mill Terrace
Tuesday , May 16 At The New York Botanical Garden
Morning Session Papers (3) and Discussion
Noon Luncheon: Snuff Mill
Afternoon Session Papers (3) and Discussion
Evening Dinner: Conservatory
Wednesday , May 17 At The New York Botanical Garden
Morning Session Papers and Discussion
Noon Luncheon
Afternoon Session Wrap-up and Closing Session
For further information write: International Rhododendron Conference,
Mr. Carlton B. Lees, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, N.Y. 10458