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Species Rhododendrons Descriptions By Name
baihuaense
baihuaense

Small white flowers

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baihuaense
baihuaense

Waxy red new growth

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baihuaense
baihuaense

Small white flowers

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R. baihuaense

This is a new introduction from the Gaoligong mountains of Yunnan on the Yunnan-Burma border. The new growth is a marvelous maroon red coated with a waxy cast while the underside of the leaf is a bright white. Our first bloom was a pure white with red spots.

R. baihuaense looks like it will be well-behaved as parents in the wild ranged from three to six feet. Its hardiness is unknown although so far it has done well here in the Puget Sound region.

We think this rhody will like:

Protection from the hot afternoon sun, consistent moisture with good drainage and small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day

Here’s an opportunity to be among the first to grow this new introduction to the West. 

 
balangense
balangense

Its flower

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balangense
balangense

The distinctive yellow stripe

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balangense
balangense

Its flower

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R. balangense

In October 2015, Bob Zimmermann, Arlen Hill, and Andy Navage endured multiple plane flights and long delays to finally reach the Balang Mountain, near China’s famous Wulong panda reserve. They found this handsome foliage plant growing next to the road on steep, partially wooded slopes. The flowers open from pink buds to white or white with pink striped blooms, some with pink spots as well.

R. balangense leaves are slightly curved with a distinctive yellow mid-rib. R. watsonii, with its own distinctive yellow mid-rib, may be its nearest relative.

This is a rhododendron with a very limited range, as are many others we are finding. It seems rhododendrons learn to “bloom where they are planted” and have a remarkable ability to adapt to the circumstances in which they find themselves.

R. balangense will like moderate sun and some shade. Feed it small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Gentle watering keeps it satisfied, and well-aerated soil and good drainage help it thrive. You can expect 4 feet in 10 years. Our R. balangense seedlings have proven hardy in Western Washington at a young age.

 
barbatum
barbatum

This in February or March

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barbatum
barbatum

A trunk like this with time

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barbatum
barbatum

This in February or March

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R. barbatum

This plant was grown in Western Washington from carefully hand-pollinated seed. The seed for the parent plants was collected in the wild in Sikkim, high in the Himalayas.

R. barbatum’s bright, red flowers form a tight ball truss. The beautiful red, peeling bark on the gorgeously smooth trunk is lovely against the darkish green leaves. The medium-sized leaves have interesting little hairs.

In NW Washington you may see the scarlet blooms as early as Valentine’s Day. This nicely rounded shrub is hardy to 0° F. It may reach up to five feet in 10 years.

 

This rhododendron will like: Either bright shade or moderate sun with small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Gentle watering with well drained loose soil keeps it thriving.  This relatively easy-to-grow early bloomer will look great in your woodland garden.

 
 
amundsenianum-1-web.jpg
R. basilicum

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basilicum
basilicum

A big truss

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basilicum
basilicum

A big leaf with a dusty covering

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basilicum
basilicum

A big truss

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R. basilicum

This wonderful “big leaf” plant was grown in Western Washington from carefully hand-pollinated seed. The forebears of this plant live in Yunnan and N.E. Myanmar (Burma) where their leaves and indumentum are quite variable. The name means “royal” and this is truly a regal plant which will enjoy growing into a lovely tree.

The parents of our R. basilicum bear creamy-white flowers in trusses of 20-25 blooms. The new growth is a glorious silvery color.

This rhododendron will like either shade or moderate sun, small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, gentle watering, well drained and aerated soil.

beaneanum
beaneanum

Waxy red with substance

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beaneanum
beaneanum

The new growth

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beaneanum
beaneanum

Waxy red with substance

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R. beanianum

R. beanianum is a member of the Neriiflora subsection noted for sturdy  red flowers. This one adds a waxy thickness to them and then supplies noteworthy foliage as well. Topside, it’s dark green and bullate (wrinkled); with age; underneath there’s a dense, rufous (reddish-brown) indumentum. The stems and petioles come with plenty of bristles.

 

It’s an early bloomer (March?) that boldly announces spring is here. It may reach four feet in ten years.

Well suited to cooler areas, R. beanianum does not like hot summers. It requires excellent drainage. It may have an eating disorder as it dislikes fertilizer.

R. beanianum will like: either some shade or moderate sun, but more sun than shade and VERY small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day or none. It requires excellent drainage in a loose soil.

 
 
brachycarpum
brachycarpum

June bloomer

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brachycarpum
brachycarpum

A well-rounded plant

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brachycarpum
brachycarpum

June bloomer

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R. brachycarpum

R. brachycarpum is that lovely, low-growing mound that speaks restrained elegance. The convexly curved leaves are backed by a grey to fawn plastered indumentum. The flowers are white to pink, often with green or brown spots. This plant was grown from seed collected - where else? - in the wild in Japan. It also occurs in Korea.

R. brachycarpum forms a 3 -4 foot mound in ten years if grown in the open. While it likes to branch on its own, regular pinching will keep it more compact. It blooms in June.

R. brachycarpum needs a bright, open location but not the hot afternoon sun and small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. It’s hardy for western Washington having survived -57 °F in Finland!

 
bureavii
bureavii

The flowers nestle against the glossy leaves

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bureavii indumentum
bureavii indumentum

Thick furry undersides

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bureavii foliage
bureavii foliage

Polished beauty

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bureavii
bureavii

The flowers nestle against the glossy leaves

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R. bureavii

This is a glossy-leaved beauty with indumentum (hairs on the leaf underside) that is among the thickest and darkest in the genus. The plant comes from seed produced by combining two of the best forms available. The blossom is white flushed with pastels. The truss nestles close against the collar of leaves, making a stunning show.

Grow this plant for its foliage – a year around delight that makes a clothed to the ground ball if grown in an open space. This is a tough plant which can take a fair amount of sun (but don’t cook it).

R. bureavii branches readily and makes a bold statement that always draws attention. It will like: moderate sun, small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s day. gentle watering and well-aerated soil.

 
 
bureavoides
bureavoides

Lovely truss

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bureavioides foliage
bureavioides foliage

Notice the ears at the petiole

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bureavoides
bureavoides

Lovely truss

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R. bureaviodes

This species rhododendron may be more fun than its more well-known relative R. bureavii. R. bureavioides is actually more common in China than R. bureavii and has lots of indumentum but trades the glossy green polish topside for frosty overtones of cinnamon and chocolate with hints of persimmon …  It’s lovely regardless.

Here’s a plant to grow for its foliage – a year-round delight. This is a tough plant which can take a fair amount of sun (but don’t cook it). It may reach four to five feet in ten years.

R. bureavioides will like moderate sun; morning sun is best. Small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day will help it along as will gentle but consistent watering and good drainage with a lose, well-aerated soil.