JARS v63n4 - Rhododendron Hybrids of the Waterer Family Dynasty
Rhododendron Hybrids of the Waterer
Clive Justice, Ph.D.
Vancouver, British Columbia
The Waterer family of nurserymen created, named and marketed some 220 hybrid rhododendrons. My list is compiled from David Leach's (1961) Rhododendrons of the World . The Waterers created in their hybrids the aesthetic for judging both the desired shape of a rhododendron plant in the garden (a dense rounded plant form) and its flower on the show table: egg-shaped, neat, tight rounded trusses with a skirt of green, plump, lanceolate or oblanceolate leaves symmetrically arranged around the stem below it.
Historically, there were two Waterer nurseries, Knaphill and Bagshot both named after villages located in Surrey, a county southwest of London. Knaphill was started by Michael Waterer Sr. (1745-1827), probably between 1810 and 1820, and the Bagshot Nursery founded by his son, Michael Waterer Jr. (1770-1842) around 1837. Michael Jr. inherited the Knaphill Nursery from his father, but it then went to Michael's brother Hosea (1793-1852), who named many of the most popular of the Waterer hybrids during his time. John Sr. (1783-1868), Michael Jr.'s third brother, took on the Bagshot Nursery, renamed it John Waterer and Sons, and John Sr.'s son, John Jr., inherited it.
Coloured Plates (Millais, 1917)
are of the "Knaphill Nursery in June" (top) and
"The American Nursery at Bagshot in June," (bottom) drawn by Archibald Thorburn.
These are fine examples of The English talent for water colour painting.
Anthony Waterer (1822-1896), a nephew of Hosea, inherited the Knaphill Nursery, but it later went to Hosea's son Anthony (1848-1924), and a year after his death in 1925, the Knaphill nursery closed. However, it was re-established in 1930 by Gomer Waterer, John Jr.'s son. Gomer also created many fine hybrids during his time at Knaphill, particularly while there in the 1920s and '30s. John Waterer, Sons & Crisp, Ltd. later took over the Bagshot Nursery. Both Knaphill and John Waterer, Sons & Crisp Nurseries went out of business during WW II.
Before Sikkim rhododendrons first appeared in the U.K., Bagshot Nursery founder Michael Waterer Sr. hybridized using only those rhododendron species that had then been introduced into the U.K. There were five of them: 1) the Eastern North American Allegany mountain species, Rhododendron maximum , introduced in 1753; 2) the Eastern European Pyrenees Mountains and Gibraltar R. ponticum introduced in 1762; 3) the Caucasus Mountain species R. caucasicum introduced in 1788; 4) the Eastern North American Appalachian Mountain species R. catawbiense introduced in 1803; and 5) the red-flowered and white-flowered R. arboreum from the Indian Himalayas introduced in 1805. These five species were the "secret" ingredients used in creating the Waterer hybrids. None of the parents of Waterer's hybrids were ever fully documented, but such was the practice of the day. It all happened well before DNA profiling.
The Waterers were renowned for the secrecy of the parentage of their crosses. A Waterer marketing ploy was to root graft the new hybrids onto the more vigourous and more hardy roots of R. ponticum or caucasicum seedlings. This procedure enabled the Waterers to bring their hybrids to blooming and saleable size two to four years earlier than those hybrids grown from cuttings on their own roots.
Writing in the July 9th 1881 weekly Gardener's Chronicle , James Henry Mangles (1832-1884) stated: "A lover of rhododendrons visits as a matter of course Mr. Anthony Waterer's Knap Hill Nursery, near the Woking Station. So well known is this garden that I need almost an apology for saying anything more about it." Mangles was the eldest son of Charles M. Mangles, Chairman of the London and South Railway. He studied for the Bar but never practiced. An ardent gentleman gardener at his large country home Valewood close to Haslemere in Surrey, he was an enthusiastic hybridizer and among the first to use Hooker's Sikkim rhododendron species R. auklandii , later renamed R. griffithianum , which was crossed with fortunei (?) or ponticum (?) to give us the Loder hybrids and the Loderi Group.
Mangles was elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society (FLS) and served for a time on the RHS Council. He wrote for the Gardener's Chronicle from 1879 to 1882 and in issues of the Garden of 1881, '82 and '84. 1 His revealing and eloquent comments in the July 9th issue; "Acres and acres of the [Knap Hill] Nursery are covered with the finest specimens and the most interesting and beautiful seedlings. The mass and breadth of colour, the variety of tints, the luxuriance and 'abandon' of growth, the happy intermixing of Pinuses (sic) and other trees, raise the place to the dignity of one of the show places of England... In the earliest days of early summer (and before) all is aglow with the crimson hues drawn by the subtle hybridist from Rhododendron arboreum and its allies... As summer advances the purple tints derived from R. ponticum and R. catawbiense , with bold patches of white obtain predominance. Then, too, the oranges and yellows and scarlets of the azaleas feast the eye, and perfume fills the air. Last of Floras gifts comes the coral Kalmia , red or pink, according to it is bud or blossom, and resting on its cool dark green foliage; and then as notable a sight as any, the uprising and unfolding of the young and tender shoots of the tens of thousands of Rhododendron trees and bushes."
Mangles goes on to single out the waning bloom of R. 'Lady Eleanor Cathcart', commenting that while the lady may reign forever, her descendents so far have been "mostly wishy-washy in the Extreme." He writes next about the nursery's overhead sprinkling system, "artificial irrigation" supplied the needed moisture but also creating a jewel like sparkle to bloom and foliage in the nursery's rhododendron gardens enclosed by "tall hedges that had warded off some of the cruel winter's rage." The grandest view of all, he writes, "was from the top of the long avenue, which appeared to fade away in the dim distance, an endless vista of pines and ornamental trees, bedded in sheets of purple, crimson, and white Rhododendrons, and of every intermediate hue."
Mangle's next turns his attention to the rhododendrons the Waterer firm has raised and sold: "many of our old and new favorites. We saw the seedling bushes of some of these dear and familiar friends, and rare trusses of 'H.W. Sargent' (one of the best), 'The Moor', 'Sigismond Rucker', 'Ralph Sanders', and others, good in flower and foliage.” His comment to his Gardener's Chronicle readers of the day, that doubtless they have seen the Waterer hybrid, 'Marchioness of Lansdowne' in Hyde Park, London, "rose colour with very black spotting." Mangles writes that he knows very few better rhododendrons, and the many of the youngster seedlings of varying types that in his opinion, "are destined to make a noise in the world."
Next, Mangles addresses the wealth of the many hardy hybrids created by the Waterers without actually naming them, from only two or three of the numerous species. Although some of these are not the hardiest ones, the variety and the endless progress possible with species not yet used fills him with astonishment. However, the existing [Waterer] hybrids, "strain," he calls them, have reached a standstill in achieving a hardy hybrid with the true scarlet from R. arboreum . He implied that the Waterers had been using a very tender R. arboreum , as in 1881 at least; all their scarlet-flowering hybrids were half-hardy or tender. He notes that the purples were again coming into favour and, "Strenuous efforts are underway to produce a hybrid with Pelargonium -like flowers, with dark and contrasting markings or with coloured edges and white centres."
Mangles ends his visit to Mr. Anthony Waterer's Knap Hill Nursery promising to "change the venue and interview Mr. John Waterer of Bagshot and his plants under his tent in London." In the Gardener's Chronicle for July 23rd 1881, as promised, J.H. Mangles writes about his visit to the Bagshot Nursery, but first he interjects how easy it is to transplant rhododendrons at any size. He notes how the Waterers, both John and Anthony, have turned easy transplantation, "this peculiarity," he calls it, into an excellent account [sales and promotion] each year in London where they create "a Rhododendron garden rather than a show." While the Hyde Park Display of Anthony's is more recent, John's garden under huge canvas tents in Cadogan Place "are now almost to be numbered among the ancient sights of Londoners."
Mangles description of the garden under canvas: "It may seem very unnatural and un-artistic to have beds and banks and shubberies of planted Rhododendrons with gravel walks and turf edgings, and the ups and downs of a real garden confined for weeks together under canvas; but, in fact, it is very convenient in more ways than one. Many see the flowers that would not travel to the distant gardens." His next comments are on the protection canvas offers in keeping the rhododendrons safe from physical damage and vagaries of wind, inclement weather and insects. He goes on to comment on what being under canvas does to flower colour: "the beauty of some of them is enhanced by the shade... The crimsons and pinks, the predominate colours, glow more brilliantly...the purples and whites are somewhat dulled by the sombre light...but the Londoner may well be proud of John Waterer's little Zemu Valley 2 in Codogan Place far from the fog and smoke...this feast of colour [was created] and then it is bodily transported to his door...Yonder in sooth, is the burning bush of Moses; the snow, however, of its neighbour cools down the prospect; and so the visitor feasts awhile on the general effect of this gleaming sea of rosy colour, astonished that any combination so beautiful could be devised by the art of Man."
Mangles continued his tour of the display he has first described as a Garden by examining and commenting on the individual plants. "We find ourselves confronted by the whole Waterer family disguised as rhododendrons. The venerable 'John Waterer' whose exact pedigree I have often sought and never found..." (We now know it was probably R. arboreum crossed with R. catawbiense .) "...and his spouse, 'Mrs. John Waterer' glowing as usual in crimson health. Their descendants are all around: 'Frederick Waterer' and 'Michael Waterer', chips off the old block but ruddier and stouter as becomes their youth; 'Kate Waterer' with her hazel eye a nd 'Helen Waterer' and 'Bai Waterer,' the loveliest of the flock, who with their brother Jack and 'Bertram Wodehouse Currie' (crimson, >1860), have fairly outdone and vanquished that notable flower 'Alarm'. Beyond the family circle, 'Lord Eversley', 'Mrs John Penn', 'John Walter' and others caught my eye. I was much struck by the excellence of some of the whites particularly on my last visit early in July. 'The Queen' is very good, although 'Madame Carvalho' is my favorite." 3
The Waterer Family Circle of Rhododendrons eventually amounted to 18 family members. Included in the list below are the six plus a dozen more. Some were yet to be named and introduced after 1880. It would be a daunting task to determine who was related to whom, but thanks to David Leach's book, we do know what Waterer hybrid came from which Waterer nursery and before what date. The two John Waterers may have been more family-oriented as most of the names come from their side. The Bagshot Nursery, under its various names and ownerships, John Waterer (JW), John Water & Sons, (JW&S), John Waterer Sons & Crisp (JWS&C) and John Waterer Sons & Noble, (JWS&N), named and introduced all but two of the Waterer family names. Here is the Waterer family, eight men and ten women, that were commemorated with a hybrid rhododendron:
1. Bai Waterer, red, JW >1880
2. Donald Waterer, rose WS&C, AM 1916
3. Elsie Waterer, white with red Blotch, WS&C
4. Frederick Waterer (syn. Fred Waterer), Crimson Red, JW
5. Gomer Waterer, white flushed with mauve, JW >1900, AM 1906
6. Helen Waterer, red, JW&S >1890
7. Hosea Waterer, cerise pink, SIC 1955 8. Ida Waterer, white, WS&C, AM 1925
9. John Waterer, purplish red, JW >1860, AM 1906
10. Kate Waterer, pink yellow centre, JW >1890
11. Mary Waterer, pink buff spots, SIC 1955
12. Michael Waterer, dark red, JW >1880
13. Minnie Waterer, white
14. Mrs Gomer Waterer, deep Pink, AW
15. Mrs John Waterer, rosy crimson, JW >1865
16. Philip Waterer, rose pink, JWS&C AM 1924
17. Souvenir d' Anthony Waterer, salmon pink, AW
18. Ted Waterer, blush lilac, JW >1922, AM 1925
These family names for hybrids are only a small portion of the more than 300 hybrids they originated over a century of hybridizing. If we group them we find there were: 29 named after married women with the prefix Mrs; two Misses and two Madames; 20 titled women's names with the prefix Lady, one Queen, three Princesses, six Duchesses, and two Baronesses in the major and minor royals, and one Prince, two Lords, four Barons, and nine Sirs on the Royal's men's side.
1. 276 in various shades of red; scarlet, crimson, purplish crimson, light dark, deep and rosy red.
2. 82 in various shades of pink, salmon, rose, blush, purplish rose.
3. 33 in various shades of purple, lilac, maroon, mauve and mauve purple, and lavender.
4. 36 in white.
1. 18 RHS Award of Merit (AM)
2. Seven RHS First Class Certificate (FCC)
3. Three RHS AM & FCC to the same three hybrids - 'Mrs Furnivall', 'Mars' and 'Furnivall's Daughter'.
We know that many of Waterer's hybrids were shipped to the Northeastern US to Boston (Charles Sprague Sargent Garden, Harvard's Arnold Arboretum), Cape Cod (the Charles Dexter Estate in Sandwich), the Long Island area (Planting Fields Arboretum and Hoyt Arboretum) Bowers 1960, West and Livingston (1978) in Pennsylvania and other New Jersey, New York and New England nurseries. However, little has been written about the Waterer's hybrids that made it to the British Columbia in the Canadian Pacific Northwest, particularly to the Pioneer Victoria Nursery of Layritz on Vancouver Island in the 1920s.
When amateur rose breeder Fred Blakeny developed his red rose that was to be selected some forty years later for Canada's 1967 Centennial and was named 'Miss Canada', roses and rockeries, not rhododendrons, were the in-plant thing in Victoria, BC, and Vancouver area gardens. There were only two nurseries, both over on Vancouver Island that had rhododendrons for sale: Layritz Nurseries in Victoria (now Saanich) and George Fraser in Ucluelet on the island's west coast. Only after WW II did Henry Eddie and Sons Ltd. of Sardis and Richmond, BC, carry rhodos in their catalogue that were Waterer's hybrids.
From the Layritz Nurseries' Price List for 1921-22 and George Fraser's 1925 four-page publication of a list of named plants grown by him at Ucluelet4, I have been able to determine which Waterer and other hybrids were available for sale on Vancouver Island. Some may have ended up in Vancouver and others in Nelson, BC, in the '20s and '30s. I do know some got to Masset on the Queen Charlotte Islands in northern coastal BC.
There were three on the Layritz list of "New Sorts." The first was 'Pink Pearl', a large flower truss with a glossy pink. It was hardly new even in the '20s, as this ('George Hardy' x 'Broughtonii') hybrid had been introduced in the 1880s by John Waterer in England. 'White Pearl' (syn. of 'Halopeanum'), a R. griffithianum x maximum cross made in Halope, Belgium, was introduced into England in late 1890s. Third on the "New Sorts" list was 'Strategist', a hybrid of ( R. griffithianum x Unknown) made by John Waterer before 1900. Flowers are rose pink, paler in the center, with speckles of crimson to olive green on the dorsal lobe.
The price for these three with "many flowers, from $3.00 and up." This was quite a high price in those days. Few buyers of these plants would have known that these hybrids with larger flowers in a more pointed topped, looser truss had in their makeup the genes from one of the rhododendron species that Joseph Hooker had brought back from Sikkim in 1848. Layritz's "General" listed fourteen hybrid rhodos, two still available and sold today [Specimen Trees Wholesale Nurseries Ltd., Pitt Meadows, BC]: 'Boule de Neige' and 'Cunningham's White', the latter shown in the list incorrectly as 'Cuninghamii'. The perfectly round small compact truss of pure white flowers of 'Boule de Neige' is aptly named in French for snowball. It is a ( R. caucasicum x catawbiense ) hybrid made by nurseryman Oudin in France. It is very hardy and had been around since the 1870s, as has 'Cunninghamii'. This latter ( R. caucasicum (s) x ponticum ) hybrid is still used extensively today as understock in Europe to give root hardiness to hybrids for gardens and parks in places like Sweden, Finland and Estonia. The remaining dozen rhodos listed were noted as "Strong plants to flower immediately, with from four to 30 flower buds, $2.00 to $5.00 each."
Those in the "General" list, with the author's additional comments in italics, were:
1. 'Blandianum', [a misspelling of 'Blandyanum'], rosy crimson, a Standish and Noble, 1848, creation, containing genes of R. arboreum , catawbiense , and ponticum . This cross did not include any plants collected by Hooker, as these plants didn't arrive till 1849.
2. 'Chevalier Felix de Sauvage', fine red, dark spots, by the Belgian C. Sauvage, about 1870.
3. 'Fastuosum Flore Pleno', double lavender. Really a semi-double, created by Gebr Francoisi of Ghent, Belgium before 1846.
4. 'Garibaldi', firey red, an Anthony Waterer introduction before WW I. Named for Giuseppi Garibaldi (1807-82), Italian Patriot and soldier who fought in South America and helped to unite Italy.
5. 'Gomer Waterer', blush, fine. Actually, it opens white and is pink in the bud, a John Waterer introduction made before the turn of the 20th century.
6. 'Kate Waterer', light red. Its actually pink, with a yellow centre spot. One of the many John Waterer (50% R. catawbiense and 50% Unknown) crosses that the Waterer's successive string of nurseries introduced.
7. 'Madame Maison' white, yellow centre. This is a real "blooper." The correct spelling of the name is 'Madame Masson' and was probably named for the wife of Fréderic Masson, a French historian whose unabashedly laudatory works on Napoleon were translated into English. Developed by Pierre Bertin (1800-1891), a Belgian nurseryman. One of the first hybrids owned by the writer and given to me by pioneer Vancouver nurseryman Hyland Barnes.
8. 'Michael Waterer', bright red. , This ( R. ponticum x Unknown)] cross is magenta red, again made by John Waterer and named after one of his many family members. Introduced in 1894.
9. 'Monsieur Thiers', brilliant rose, named for Adolphe Thiers (1797-1877), a French statesman, journalist and historian. He negotiated the preliminary Peace of Versailles with Otto von Bismark that ended the Franco-Prussian War. He also commanded the troops that brutally suppressed the Paris Commune of 1871. The hybrid was created by a J. Makoy. Little can be found on him or the hybrids he created.
10. 'Lady Clermont', rosy scarlet, actually light red with a dark blotch. One of the very early ( R. catawbiense x Unknown) crosses by the Waterer clan, this one by Anthony Waterer. It received an FCC in 1865.
11. 'Prince Camille de Rohan', rosy, crimson centre. A cross made by Hellebuyk Waelbrouck in the International Rhododendron Register and Checklist, Second Edition (IRR&C) in 1855 and introduced by Ambrose Verschaffelt (1825-1886), a nurseryman of Roygem near Ghent, Belgium, in 1865, a (50% caucasicum x 50% Unknown) cross. The author found this old hybrid (introduced in England more than 140 years earlier) in the lower terrace of Hycroft, the Women's University Club McRae house in Shaughnessy Vancouver, BC.
12. 'Mrs R. S. Holford', salmon crimson, another of Anthony Waterer's hybrids of unknown parentage ( R. catawbiense x Unknown) and introduced in 1866 to England, some 50 years before it got to Layritz in Victoria. It is named for a relation (mother ? ) of Sir George Holford, founder of Westonbrit Arboretum, Gloucester. In the 1930s, Lionel Rothschild used this hybrid to create 'Flare' and 'Hypatia (pronounced hi-pay shia).
George Fraser, out in Ucluelet, in his 1925 four-page catalogue, listed several of the same hybrids that appeared in the 1921-22 Layritz list. These included the popular and easy to grow 'Boule de Neige' and 'Cunninghamii' ('Cunningham's White'); and the Waterer hybrids red 'Michael Waterer' and pink 'Kate Waterer', 'Mrs Holford' (but spelt 'Halford' in Fraser's list) and mauve, semi double 'Fastuosum Flore Pleno'. Fraser must have overseen the printing and editing of his catalogue as all of the plant names, both English and Latin, had greater numbers spelt correctly, unlike the Layritz list.
In addition to those carried by Layritz, Fraser's list had:
1. 'Mrs [John] Clutton', white with small yellow-green blotch, an Anthony Waterer hybrid of ( R. maximum x Unknown) that received an FCC in 1865. Old plants of 'Mrs John Clutton' are mixed with others in a street side hedge like planting across the front of George Fraser's old nursery grounds in Ucluelet, BC. I haven't yet been able to track down who Mrs. John Clutton was.
2. 'John Waterer', crimson to scarlet. 'John Waterer' is a cross of ( R. catawbiense x Unknown), with quite purplish flowers, created before 1860 and according to Salley and Greer it is still in cultivation after 150 years.
3. 'Mrs [John] Waterer', rosy crimson with dark crimson spots. The origin of 'Mrs John Warerer' created around about the same time as husband John's namesake is much later blooming but the parentage is unknown. Cox says it may include catawbience , ponticum and arboreum , but the IRR&C lists it as a cross of ( R. catawbiense x Unknown).
The Waterer family was a large one, so there are at least a dozen rhodo hybrids with the Waterer surname made in Victorian England. Other Waterer hybrids worthy of mention are:
'Mrs Milner' and 'Stella' (named after Stella Waterer) and 'Crown Prince': 'Mrs Milner' is crimson, 'Stella' is rose, as is 'Crown Prince', the title given Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria. All are thought to be crosses of ( R. catawbiense x Unknown) made by Anthony Waterer. 'Stella' got an FCC in 1865. 'Mrs Milner' is probably named in honour of the wife or mother of Alfred Milner, First Vicount Milner (1854-1925, who after passing out of Oxford with honours became Assistant Editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, moving on to become Undersecretary of Revenue for Egypt. His book England in Egypt came out in 1892. In it he recommended independence for the then British Protectorate. After 1900, he became Governor of Cape Colony S.A, and then Transvaal. He was secretary of War during the Boer War and WW I.
There is another hybrid rhododendron named for a Mrs. Milner that was created, named and registered in 1962 by another Vancouver Island nursery, Ted and Mary Greig's Nursery in Royston, BC, just south of Comox. Its name is 'Veronica Milner' and honours the second wife of the Edmonton lawyer and business man, Ray Milner, whose summer home was in Qualicum Beach, BC. This cross is ( R. campylocarpum x 'Little Ben'), with the latter a ( R. neriiflorum (s) x R. forrestii Repens Group) cross. You can find out about Mrs. Veronica Milner and the Qualicum Beach garden she made and left to Vancouver Island University in Margaret Cadwaladr's book In Veronica's Garden - it's a great read.
Both Layritz and George Fraser listed a number of deciduous azaleas in their 1920s nursery lists. Fraser even hybridized one, which is known as the Fraseri Group because it refers to all the plants grown from seed from the cross ( R. canadense x R. mollis ssp. japonica ). I found it growing well in Finland in 1996, but I'll leave all that for another story along with the story of the New Zealand hybrid named 'Frilly Knickers'; synonym: 'Pink Panties', and pink of course!
Cadwaladr, M. 2001. In Veronica's Garden . Madrona Books & Pub: 212 pp.
Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the History of Landscape Architecture. 1980. John Claudius Loudon and the Early Nineteenth Century in Great Britain . Dumbarton Oaks Pub. Service, Washington, District of Columbia.: 133 pp.
Hooker, J.D. 1854. Himalayan Journals, Notes of a Naturalist in Bengal, Sikkim and Nepal Himalayas, the Khasia Mountains . John Murray, London, in 2 volumes.
Leach, D. 1961. Rhododendrons of the World , Murray Printing Co. Massachusetts: 544 pp.
Millais, J.G. 1917. Rhododendrons and the Various Hybrids . Longman, Green & Co., London.
1 The Gardener's Chronicle (GC) weekly is among the more than forty horticultural and gardening weekly and monthly magazines and journals that started publication at various times in the 19th century; the great age of English Gardening. The GC began publication in 1841 and is one of the very few that continues to this day. It is directed to working gardeners, to keep them up to date with new gardening plants, gardening techniques and more. Garden: An Illustrated weekly Journal of Gardening in All Its Branches , to give it its full title, was founded in 1871 and ceased publication in 1927. It was directed especially to garden owners. A full list of these Victorian Garden magazines are in Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the History of Landscape Architecture (1980).
2 The actual Zemu Valley in the Sikkim Himalayas is described by Joseph Dalton Hooker in chapter XX, Vol. II, of his Himalayan Journals , 1854, published by John Murray, London.
3 'The Queen' (pink fading to white) is named for the British Sovereign, Victoria, who reigned over the British Empire from 1837-1901. It's not a Waterer, but is by Charles Noble, a Knaphill Nurseryman allied with John Waterer Sons & Noble (JWS&N). Hybrid 'Madame Carvalho' (white with yellow spots), JW >1866, was named for the Brazilian singer who sang and preformed in Gounod's Opera 'Sappho', first performed in 1851, and is another Waterer Rhododendron still in cultivation. The Waterer hybrid named for her Majesty was 'Victoria', and its colour was claret.
4 My thanks to Leslie Drew of the Cowichan Valley ARS Chapter who uncovered a cache of Layritz Nursery catalogues held in the Kelowna Archives. Rhodos in the catalogue were listed under the headings: "BROADLEAVED EVERGREENS", subheading "RHODODENDRUM" (sic.). There were two categories, "New other hybrids were available for sale on Vancouver Island. Some may have ended up in Vancouver and others to Nelson, BC, in the '20s and '30s. I do know some got to Masset on the Queen Charlotte Islands in northern coastal BC.
Clive Justice, Plant Historian, is a member of both the Vancouver and J D Hooker ARS Chapters.