QBARS - v33n4 Book Review: Rhododendrons 1977

Reviewed by Ed Egan, Portland, Oregon

The annual Rhododendron Yearbook of the Royal Horticultural Society is again packed with articles of great interest to any and all rhododendron enthusiasts. The article on the newly popular Vireya rhododendrons by David Leach certainly adds to the ever increasing knowledge about these brilliant and many times very large tropical rhododendrons.
For those interested in the work that is being done on re-classification of the genus Rhododendron , Dr. James Cullen's article is most enlightening and the need for re-classification is much more easily understood.
I think any collection of articles about rhododendrons should contain at least one article on the propagating of the present forms or the breeding of new forms. This edition has an article on each. "Rhododendrons from Stem Cuttings" by K. Loach reviews some of the standard procedures but also introduces some new ideas. M. C. Pratt's article "Breeding Deciduous azaleas" gives us all a challenge. Flowering azaleas in June-July, and even August, is possible but much work is yet to be done.
A challenge of your idea of which are the best rhododendrons to grow is contained in the article, "Six Favorite Rhododendrons". The stipulation that limits the choice is "you are moving to a garden with ideal growing conditions for rhododendrons, but you only have room for six plants - species or hybrids. Which six would you choose, and why?" Arthur Headlam (Australia), Patrick Synge (Sussex) and Geoffrey Gorer (Sussex) give their answers; and you are bound to find their ideas both interesting and provocative.
There are other articles on rhododendrons and a large section of articles on camellias.
The final section of the issue lists the additions to the International Rhododendron Register for 1977.