ARS Emblem

Rhododendron and
Azalea News

ARS Emblem
ARS Home Page          R&A Home          Plant Tips          People and Events          Gardens          

Ideas for Chapters

Personal testimony for ARS dues


Dr. Mike Bale wrote in The Yak, Fraser South Chapter's newsletter, of buying too many rhodos, and joining too many organizations.  He personally belongs to 11 different professional organizations with annual dues ranging from $130 to $2000.  As a result of reviewing these expenses, I have become much more appreciative of the value one derives in membership in the American Rhododendron Society:

The ARS's extremely modest fee provides involvement with a very successful national organization with strong international attachments, and also includes receipt of an extremely high-quality quarterly magazine...full of authoritative and useful information.

In addition, membership provides the opportunity to attend monthly meetings at the local chapter, to meet and listen to experienced and knowledgeable individuals...and to benefit from their wisdom.

Words of wisdom indeed!  With the cost of everything always going up, and the dollar yo yoing up and down, in my opinion, we should be grateful.  Wow...great news!


An update on your vocabulary

Bruce Palmer, the Eureka Chapter's wordsmith, each month discusses a different botanical term.  In the June issue of the chapter newsletter he offers this definition:

The word, coyltedon, comes from the Greek Kotyledon, meaning cup-shaped hollow from the general form when a seedling first comes up.  The English definition is "seed leaf".

Flowering plants are classified by whether they have one seed leaf (monocotypledons) or two seed leaves (dicotyldons).  The purpose of seed leaves is not primarily to carry on photosynthesis...even though they are green and do so.  The purpose of cotyledons is to transmit the food stored in the embryo to the new sprouting plants.

Dicots and monocots do that differently!

Most dicots have thick cotyledons that have already drawn the nutrients from the seed before sprouting.  Peas and beans, as they come up, are examples.

Most monocots have a single thin cotyledon that draw nutrients from the seeds as they are sprouting.  Grass is a good example right now...a the time when it is growing so fast you can almost hear it at night.

So there you are: more than you ever wanted to know about the word cotyledon!

new word challenge … Thanks, Bruce, we look forward to sharing more of your wordsmithing with friends world-wide.  A note of confidence:  while attending graduate school, a professor encouraged us to learn five new words daily...that's a day-by-day assignment that wasn't always carried out.  You are encouraging us to pick up the assignment again...especially to learn about this wonderful genus Rhododendron

So much to learn...get acquainted with...and love more...and maybe, too little time left.  Start early young readers, and a whole new and beautiful world opens to you.


"Old soldiers" never die...they continue to serve

Some of the readers will remember the recall of General MacArthur and his famous statement, "Old soldiers never die...they just fade away".

The ARS and the Eureka Chapter has a wonderful young soldier who gives his farewell message and tune to his fellow members.  It might bring tears to your eyes as you read about his devotion to the ARS around the globe. This soldier is: Tim Walsh.  Listen to his testimony:

Why is it that whenever you think of the really good stuff to are miles from the computer...and when you are at the computer, your mind goes blank?  Do not answer that.

After three years, there are lots more unanswered questions than when I started.  The only thing I know for sure is that it has been a BLAST!

Oh, sure, there have been minor setbacks involving bell-nappers, high winds at Caron Park, and such not...but on the whole...I have been able to concentrate on what I enjoy most which is passing on a small part of my vast storehouse of rhododendrons knowledge.

Actually, the best part of this job (being president of the chapter) has been just having the opportunity to pick on all my friends, or ex-friends, month-after-month with relative immunity.  I know, I should be making use of this last chance to profusely thank and heap surprises on those who have done all the work, dealt with all the issues and handled all the problems over the last three years...while I generally took the credit and basked in the misplaced glory and adoration of the uninformed populace.  But, hey, why turn over a new leaf now?

All of you who have sat through countless board meetings while Nelda...or Debby...or June droned on and on about plant stuff.  Aileen says there is a reason they call them "bored" meetings...

or worked your fingers to the bone packing one-gallon pots full of dirt and whatnot hither and yon and back again...

or packed your hoes, shovels, rakes, chainsaws, and tractors to Sequoia Park workdays...there's still money to be had, easy pickin's, in that fountain...

or brought refreshments...or made sign-in sheets...or organized plant shows...

or drove all over the north cost in search of the very best rhodys for plant sales...or volunteered when you saw a need...

or brought trusses...or edited and published newsletters...

or laughed at my jokes...or took pictures...or wrote articles...

or attended meetings...or paid your dues...

or tied your shoes...or went to regional or national conferences on our behalf...

or laughed at my jokes...or worked at all the other jobs that make our organization click,

did I mention laughed at my jokes?


I was planning to thank you all, but, as you can see, there just isn't

Get out there and enjoy those rhodys.

Thanks, Tim, for your leadership...and old chapter presidents never die...nor fade away.  All of us are depending on you to awake the souls of rhododendron lovers and give inspiration to new comers!


Midwest Chapter has a website

Jack Strom, member of the Midwest Chapter, has just completed the first web site the chapter has ever had.  It beautiful and very informative...a real necessity to health and growth of a chapter.

Encourage you to go to the ARS Web site... click on the navigation menu "Chapters" then in the drop-down menu click on "Web Sites".  Chose any one of the 39 chapters that have a web site.  You will simply be amazed at the wonderful things going on.

The one item that is so impressive is the speed at which one can obtain information from a sister chapter...whether be lean or fat!  And, the willingness to share and share!  This is the reason the American Rhododendron Society is such an excellent agent with the wonderful goal to let the world know about the great genus Rhododendron.

Have a look at the Midwest Chapter's new site at: Try it!  You'll love it, too.


Introducing new chapter newsletter editors

Noni Godfrey is the new editor of the North Island Rhododendron Society, Canada, newsletter.  She comes to her new position with creative ideas to making the world more aware of the genus Rhododendron.  Mary Palmer is transferring the reins so she can do more research and articles...but Noni says, Mary will still be involved.

Noni loves computers (though she is sorry there are no Macs there!!  The R&A News editor has a there anything else?) and teaches software courses at the North Island College.  Her involvement with the North Island's newsletter is a valid excuse to play on the computer!

Welcome, Noni, to the wonders of this new world!

Dennis Rees is the new editor of Viva Vireya, newsletter of the Hawaii Chapter.  He writes that he looks forward to the members helping him write their news.  And, personal tribute to Veryl Grace who was editor for a number of years.

He has high hopes of developing a web site.  This would be a place for members to show off their blooms, share ideas...and mistakes...and successes.  Another reestablish relationships with former members.

Wow, Dennis has some excellent ideas for the future of the Hawaii Chapter.  Sounds like we can take a hint or two.

Our hats are off to you, Dennis. We look forward to a long relationship.



What makes ARS members tick?

  Harry Wright of the North Island Chapter has come up with a life-time of experience of what makes ARS members...and hopefully...others enjoy life more fully.  He calls it:

Recipe for a home:

1/2 cup of friendship
add 1 cup of thoughtfulness

Cream together with a pinch of powdered tenderness
and beat lightly

Add a bowl of loyalty
with 1 cup each of faith, hope, and charity

Be sure to add a spoonful each of
gaiety that sings
and the ability to laugh at little things

Moisten with a sudden tear of heartfelt sympathy

Bake in a good-natured pan...and serve repeatedly.

Sounds like a recipe all of us should print out and hang on the wall, read it many times a day and, moreover, put it to the test.  A warm-hearted home is a very special gift...and helps us to live a long and happy life.  Happiness is what makes the world go round!


Century-old thoughts to ponder

Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.


American Rhododendron Society
Executive Director: P.O. Box 525,  Niagara Falls, NY 14304
Ph: 416-424-1942   Fax: 905-262-1999   E-Mail:
1998-2016, ARS, All rights reserved.