QBARS - v6n2 Gifts to the Trial Garden of the American Rhododendron Society at Crystal Lake Springs Island

Gifts to the Trial Garden Of The A.R.S. At Crystal Lake Springs Island
Ruth M. Hansen

In recent weeks, the American Rhododendron Society has received its first collection of Eastern native rhododendrons and azaleas. These were donated by Dr. Charles P. Wilson of Portland. Dr. Wilson kept his intention of this gracious donation as a secret for it came as a complete surprise to Mr. John Bacher, Chairman of our Trial Garden Committee.

The plants are of good size, well budded and will provide something new for the many visitors to the Island this Spring. Of the collection, possibly the best known, to us out here, are R. vaseyi , R. carolinianum and R. calendulaceum . Certainly R. minus will be of great interest to our Western collectors as this charming rhododendron with its rose-colored flowers is indeed listed among the rare species in this area. R. arborescens , canescens and viscosum are also among collectors items here in the West. Those of us who know these azalea species are delighted to have them on display in the Test Garden as the public will now have the opportunity of seeing them. By this observation the true garden worth of these Eastern natives can be best ascertained.

Previous to receiving the Eastern specimens, some of the Western species were donated by our native plant expert, Mr. Charles Skinner. R. macrophyllum is well known to everyone who has traveled along the Oregon Coast or around Mt. Hood. The native locale of this plant is the Mt. Hood area, 60 miles from Portland, Ore., to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. There are no connecting links between these widely separated areas. R. occidentale or The Coast Azalea as we all know it, is loved by everyone. The delightful fragrance of this azalea makes it a charming accessory to any garden.

Of the hybrids donated, the Gable hybrid, R. 'Conewago' will possibly be clasped as the most unusual. Certainly, R. 'Sir Charles Lemon' will receive great admiration from those visitors who delight in beautiful leaves with a rich brown indumentum.

Our President, Mr. C. I. Sersanous, purchased a handsome specimen of R. thomsonii for the Island planting. This plant is approximately 10 feet tall, covered with buds and will make a beautiful showing in a few weeks.

An unexpected gift of a small Davidia involcurata , Dove-tree has been made by Mrs. Forrest Goff. The Davidia is a welcomed companion to the Magnolias and other fine specimens we are carefully selecting for the Island.

At the end of March, Mr. John Bacher donated a truck load of his own crosses. These plants were all quite large and many have set buds. This grouping will be of intense interest to those who are contemplating on doing hybridizing of their own. Aside from these crosses, Mr. Bacher donated six species, R. phaeochrysum of the Taliense Series, being the most outstanding. This is the second such plant he has donated and these are thought to be the only ones of this variety in the United States.

With this wonderful start of native azaleas, rhododendrons and hybrids in this public garden we hope that many more such donations will be made.


3 'Sir Charles Lemon' 3 R. minus Davidia involucrata
2 'Tally Ho' 3 R. carolinianum (Dove-tree )
2 'Rubens' 3 R. calendulaceum
2 'Lady Primrose' 3 R. vaseyi ESCH NURSERY
2 'Loders White' 3 R. arborescens 'Garnet'
3 'Conewago' 3 R. viscosum
3 R. canescens JOHN G. BACHER
ROCCO CAPPELLI 3 Abies fraseri 2 R. decorum
R. discolor (Southern Balsam Fir) 3 Large-leaved species
'Luscombei' R. phaeochrysum
'Essex Scarlet' THEODORE VAN VEEN Truck load crosses
4 'Snow Queen'
'Lady Bird' 3 'Chartophyilum Praecox'
'A. Bedford' 2 'Cuneatum'

PLANTS PURCHASED: 1 R. thomsonii