QBARS - v5n2 Cover

Rudolph Henny

The illustration by P. H. Brydon on the cover is R. 'Azor'. This hybrid was made by J. B. Stevenson and received an Award of Merit in 1933 from the R. H. S. It has been related to me that Mr. Stevenson was a most learned and authoritative lover of species rhododendrons and made very few hybrids. Mr. Stevenson's garden gave ample evidence of his preference for it contained almost all the species and subspecies of rhododendrons neatly set in rows. I am not aware that R. 'Azor' was one of his favorites, but it must have pleased a most critical gardener for it kept its place in his garden through the years.

R. 'Azor' as we know it leads one to assume that confusion and some little scrambling of varieties is present. Almost every garden contains R. 'Azor's of different form and color. Officially the flower is described as a soft salmon, but I have seen many different hues even approximating very pale pink. Usually the person whose garden has one or more plants will designate them by a surname: "Layritz Azor," "True English Azor," "Goldsworth Azor," all different and in some cases almost inferior. I am not aware of any gardener who has with any degree of certainty been able to state "That is the A.M. form of R. 'Azor'.

During the last ten years the variety has been still more confused by a group of plants with not a few of the characteristics of R. 'Azor'. A group of plants from the Barto Nursery often referred to as the "Barto Azors." See A.R.S. Quarterly Bulletin Vol. 3, No. 2, page 20. Within recent years another introduction of Azor type plants from Endre Ostbo have come on the scene. These plants, much superior to the R. 'Azor's have been designated by numbers: Azor No. 1, Azor No. 2, etc. The fine clonal form 'R. Mrs. Donald Graham' is a selection of the group. Though Ostbo was also growing seedlings of the cross 'R. Azor' ( griersonianum x discolor ) at the time, by chance, seedlings must have lost their identity and Mr. Ostbo is now certain that his entire group known as R. 'Azor' are in reality a R. 'Loderi' cross.