QBARS - v7n3 Cover Article

Cover Article
Rudolph Henny

The illustration on the cover of the July edition of the Quarterly Bulletin illustrates a goodly expanse of rock wall and two inconspicuous flowers. These two separate bloom are the first to show from the R. repens Rock No. 92 that were sent back as seed from the 1948 American Rhododendron Society expedition to China. The bloom showed in early April and was an unattractive pink. One need only read the article in the Rhododendron Yearbook 1951-2 by Dr. J. Macqueen Cowan and H. H. Davidian titled " R. repens A Revision" and the fine article by Roza M. Stevenson "The Forms of R. repens At Tower Court," to become aware of the vast differences of habit and color that exist in the series. In looking at the entire group of seedlings only superficially R. repens , Rock 92 shows all the variations of leaf forms in the individual plants. Some show the distinct oval leaf and tantalizing slow growth of R. repens , others seem to fit the leaf description of other members of the series, and have grown more rapidly with more oblong-obovate foliage. Some of the members have an intense purple undercoating on the leaves, others a very pale green. That there is several species of the series under Rock, No. 92 could hardly be disputed. In mentioning this observation to Dr. Rock at the A.R.S. Show at Portland, he stated that since many of the R. repens grow in huge entanglements in the wild, seed could have been procured from several different species that had entwined themselves.
Curiously enough, it is clearly evident in the photograph that the tubular campanulate form of R. repens is also missing. The bloom as shown is obviously funnel-shaped and has raised considerable conjecture.