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Rhododendron of the Year Plant Awards: 2009

South East USA Region

R. 'Taurus'

Elepidote Rhododendron: 'Taurus'

Flower vivid and strong red with darker throat and black spots on dorsal lobe, campanulate, 3" across.  Large ball-shaped truss holds about about 16 flowers.  Blooms early midseason.  Deep red winter buds.  Leaves elliptic with acute apex and rounded base, about 7" long, dark green, retained 3 years.  Afternoon sun protection is preferred.  Grows to a typical height of about 6 ft. in 10 yearrs.  Cold hardy to -5F (-21C).  Hybridized by Mossman.  Received Award of Garden Merit from Royal Horiticulture Society.

R. 'Windbeam'

Lepidote Rhododendron: 'Windbeam'

Flower opens white tinged pale apricot, after 3-4 days flowers become light purplish pink.  Flower is funnel-shaped, wavy-edged, " across and has moderate reddish orange and strong red spots on the dorsal lobe.  Ball-shaped truss holds 8 flowers.  Blooms early midseason.  Leaf is elliptic to lanceolate, with obtuse apex and cuneate base, 2" to 2" long, moderate olive green.  Willowy, leggy growth habit.  Typical height: 3 ft. in 10 years.  Plant is cold hardy to -25F (-32C).  Hybridized by Nearing.  Received the ARS Award of Excellence.

R. 'Conversation Piece'

Evergreen Azalea: 'Conversation Piece'

Flower color varies among flowers: (1) vivid reddidh purple, (2) white (3) sectored (4) vivd reddish purple shaded lighter at edges, widely funnel-shaped, wavy lobes, 3" across.  Some flowers spotted.  Blooms late midseason.  Leaves narrowly elliptic to elliptic, acute apex, cuneate base, 1⅝" long, glabrous.  Upright, broad plant habit.  Grows to a typical height of 2 ft. in 10 years.  Cold hardy to -10F (-23C).  Hybridized by Gartrell.

R. 'Gibraltar'

Deciduous Azalea: 'Gibraltar'

Flower vivid orange, flushed red orange, deep crimson in bud, tubular funnel-shaped, frilly edges, 2⅜" to 3" across.  Ball-shaped trusses hold 10-12 flowers.  Blooms midseason.  Mildew resistant.  Upright growth habit.  Grows to a height of 5 ft. in 10 years.  Cold hardy to -15F (-26C).  Hybridized by Edmund de Rothschild.

Photos (top to bottom) by Doug Irish-Hosler, Eleanor Philp, courtesy of Auburn University, Harold Greer.

Prior Years Selections for South East USA Region













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