JARS v57n4 - Rhododendron of the Year Awards, 2003

Rhododendron of the Year Awards, 2003
Laura Kentala
Plant Awards Committee, Chair
Kirkland, Washington

The ARS Plant Awards Committee has selected the Rhododendron of the Year awards for 2003. Because of climate differences, the committee selected plants for six regions: Northeastern, Mid Atlantic, Southeastern, Midwestern, Northwestern and Southwestern. The Swisher Award is given to a vireya rhododendron.
The first criterion was that the plant perform well in the region, even for a novice. the plant had to exhibit good form, foliage and flowers, to prove itself cold and heat hardy for the region, and to show resistance to pests and diseases. In addition, the plant had to be available in the nursery trade.
In this issue the choices for the Northwestern Region, Southwestern Region and Vireya Swisher Award are featured.

* Name is not registered.


R. 'Taurus' R. 'PJM Elite'
Elepidote: Elepidote: 'Taurus'. 'Taurus' is vigorous and full in shape. Dark green leaves held
for three years. In winter the buds are deep red. Flowers are glowing red with black
speckling on upper petal. The early blooms in March start the spring right.
Photo by Harold Greer
Lepidote: 'PJM Elite'. Cold hardy and tolerant of heat and sun.
Small elliptic leaves are green in the summer and mahogany colored in winter.
Bright lavender flowers bloom early.
Photo by Harold Greer
R. 'Purple Splendor' R. 'Homebush'
Evergreen Azalea: 'Purple Splendor'. Gable hybrid, vivid reddish purple.
Grows 6 to 8 feet. Very hardy.
Photo by Harold Greer
Deciduous Azalea: 'Homebush'. Medium size bush with wonderful fall color foliage. Bright
pink flowers are semi-double that are held in tight balls. Bloom mid to late-mid in season.
Photo by Harold Greer


R. 'Trude Webster' R. veitchianum Cubittii Group
Elepidote: 'Trude Webster'. Tall plant that won the first ARS Superior Plant Award.
Trusses are gigantic in a clear pink. Foliage is large, wide and good color.
Photo by Harold Greer
Lepidote: Rhododendron veitchianum Cubittii Group. This species of subsection Maddenia
is large growing. Leaves are medium size, with smooth tops and light green underneath.
Flowers are 4 inches long and white or white with blush pink.
Photo by Harold Greer
R. 'Revery' R. 'Klondyke'
Evergreen Azalea: 'Revery'. A deep pink flower blooming in the middle of the season
Has an upright growing habit.
Photo by George Klump
Deciduous Azalea: 'Klondyke'. A strong orange flower with orange-yellow blotch.
Photo by Harold Greer


R. 'Calavar'
Vireya: 'Calavar'. Upright bush with large cherry pink to cream
fragrant flowers.
Photo by Sherla Bertelmann