QBARS - v6n2 Minutes of Meeting of American Rhododendron Society, Portland, Oregon, March 20, 1952

Minutes of Meeting of the A. R. S., Portland, Oregon, March 20, 1952
Mrs. Ruth M. Hansen, Secretary

The meeting was called to order by President C. I. Sersanous at 8:00 P.M. in the Auditorium of the Journal Building. The minutes of the February meeting were read and approved.

A report was made on the new members, a total of 29 having been added to our rolls since the February meeting. The names of those from the Portland-Vancouver area were read and asked to stand. The member coming from the greatest distance was Mr. Louis M. Toms of Castle Rock, Wash. Guests were then introduced.

The proposed change in the By-laws was again explained and as it had already been read for a second time a motion was made to adopt it as an amendment. The motion was carried unanimously.

A report on the Test Garden followed during which an announcement was made about the fine collection of Eastern native azaleas and rhododendrons donated to us by Dr. Charles P. Wilson. Mr. Bacher brought out in his report that we need many more species, hybrids and seedlings for this planting.

Cut trusses brought in for the meeting were as follows: R. ririei , R. praevernum , arboreum , vaccinioides , mucronulatum , leucaspis , thomsonii , oleifolium and 'Nobleanum Venustum'.

Mr. Adolph Meyer was then introduced as the Show Chairman for 1952. The date for the Spring Show voted on was May 17. It will be held in the Information Center on S. W. Front Avenue.

Mr. Sersanous announced that on January 29, the Directors had suggested that Portland have its own Chapter. Due to the lack of time for a general discussion of this matter, Mr. Sersanous urged each member present to give the matter serious thought.

An auction of 17 rhododendrons followed which netted the Society $65.50. These plants were donated by The Holgate Nursery, Cranguyma Farms, Theodore Van Veen and Adolph Meyer.

Mr. P. H. Brydon then acted as moderator for the Panel Discussion on "Plant Breeding as it Pertains to Rhododendrons." The board of experts included Rudolph Henny, Theodore Van Veen, E. R. Peterson and Dr. Clarke.

"In order that the audience fully understand what we are trying to do, we should first describe the floral parts of a Rhododendron flower." This was done by tearing apart a single flower and describing each part and its function.

Q . Mr. Henny, How do you transfer pollen from the male parent to the female parent?
Ans . It's all very elementary. The stigma receives the pollen which grows down the style into the ovary. The actual crossing is nothing more than putting pollen on the sticky stigma. The flower should be emasculated before full bloom leaving only the pistil.
Q . How long before seed is set can we see evidence of fertilization?
Ans . As soon as the flower has fallen.
Q . When is the seed ripe?
Ans . Usually after the first frost, though the time varies.
Q . Do you put a sack over the flower you intend to cross?
Ans . I do, though they do not do so in England.
Q. What is the time period for fertilization?
Ans . About 24 hours.
Q . How do you recognize the receptive condition of the pistil?
Ans . The surface of the stigma is very moist.
Q . If you had one goal to work for what would it be?
Ans . A good yellow, like the yellow of the Forsythias. Believe I have that in a discolor x 'Fabia' cross, though I will have to wait another year to be certain. (Mr. Van Veen) Mr. Peterson, what would you work for?
Ans. A plant like 'Britannia' with flowers like 'Earl of Athlone' and one to bloom in May. Would cross 'Earl of Athlone' x 'Britannia'. Mr. Henny, what would you work for?
Ans. A good yellow. I believe that a good yellow will only come from crossing a red, as the 'Earl of Athlone' x wardii x a white. I do not think a good yellow will come from a campylocarpum cross. Dr. Clarke, what would you work for?
Ans. Well, I would try for everything, hybrid x with hybrid. Believe that will give the greatest result.
Q . Do you agree that one parent should be a species.
Ans . No as this limits the possibilities of color, form, hardiness, etc.
Q . It is stated that species are superior to hybrids in color but hybrids have better flowers, do you agree?
Ans . I do not agree, I think that in the next 25 years we will see some of the finest rhododendrons ever created.
Q . What do you think of crossing evergreen rhododendrons by deciduous types?
Ans . It is a fine thing and has many possibilities.
Q. What do you think of the possibility of getting fragrance in rhododendrons by crossing Fragrantissimum with something else?
Ans . We would possibly make a race of tender plants. Hardiness is something everyone should think of.

This concluded the Panel Discussion and slides were then shown. Mr. Charles Herbert of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania had graciously sent a collection of colored slides from his garden showing rhododendrons, azaleas, spring flowers and chrysanthemums. There were also some slides of Valley Forge showing the beautiful dogwood trees in bloom. Slides of the rhododendrons in bloom in our Test Garden were then shown.

Mr. Sersanous reminded everyone of the Meeting on April 17 in which Maj. Barber of Exbury will talk and show slides of the Exbury Gardens.

Meeting adjourned.