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2008 Rhododendron of the Year Awards
Plants suitable for Southeastern USA


Elepidote Rhododendron: 'Vivacious'
R. 'America' x R. 'Dr. Ross'

Flower strong red with no markings, openly funnel-shaped, wavy lobes, 2" across. Ball-shaped trusses hold 10 or more flowers.  Blooms late midseason.  Leaves narrowly elliptic, acute apex, cuneate base, 5" long, medium green, retained 2 years. Plant rounded, broader than tall.  Typical growth height: 3 ft. in 10 yrs.  Plant is hardy to -5 F  (-21 C).  Hybridized by Forster at the Vineland Station Horticultural Research Institute.


R. 'Vivacious'


 Photo by Bill Stipe

R. 'Olga Mezitt'

Lepidote Rhododendron: 'Olga Mezitt'
R. minus var. minus Carolinianum Group x minus var. minus

Flower light purplish-pink with inconspicuous gold-green blotch that ages to reddish-brown, openly to tubular funnel-shaped, wavy lobes, 1" across.  Dome-shaped trusses hold about 12 flowers.  Blooms early midseason.  Leaves lanceolate shaped with acute apex and cuneate base, convex, 2" long, yellow-green.  Leaves turn mahogany color in winter.  Upright growth habit.  Reaches a height of 3 ft. in 10 yrs.  Cold hardy to -15 F (-26 C).  Hybridized by Mezitt.

Photo by Sally and John Perkins  

Evergreen Azalea: 'Elsie Lee'
R. 'Desiree' x R. 'Rosebud'

Flower light reddish purple, widely funnel-shaped, 2 to 2" across, frilly edges, semi-double.  Inflorescence 2 to 3 flowered.  Blooms late midseason.  Leaves broadly elliptic, acute apex, rounded base, 1" long, glossy, moderate yellow-green, held for 2 years.   Upright, broad plant habit.  Grows to a height of 3 ft. in 10 years.  Hardy to -15F (-26 C).  Hybridized by Shammarello.

R. 'Elsie Lee'

  Photo by Henk Borsje

R. austrinum

Deciduous Azalea: R. austrinum
Species rhododendron in subgenus Pentanthera section Pentanthera subsection Pentanthera

Known variously as the Flame azalea, Florida azalea, or the Florida Flame azalea.  Flower in shades of yellow, gold, and orange, narrowly funnel shaped, very fragrant.  Blooms early midseason.  Leaves ovate or obovate to elliptic, up to 4" long, deciduous. Reaches 10 ft. in the wild, but will often remain smaller in the garden, with a spread about half its height.  One of the easiest of the native azaleas to grow.  Cold hardy to -15 F (-26 C). Very heat tolerant.  Native to the Florida panhandle and nearby areas of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

Photo by Boris Bauer 

Prior Year ROY Selections for Southeastern USA
2007   2006   2005   2004

American Rhododendron Society
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