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Rhododendron of the Year Plant Awards: 2020

South East USA Region

R. 'Dexter's Vanilla'

Elepidote Rhododendron: 'Dexter's Vanilla'

Flower creamy white with purplish-pink edged lobes and along central veins of lobes, reddish-brown marking on upper lobe, openly funnel-shaped, 3" across, fragrant.  Held in flat to lax trusses of 8 flowers.  Blooms late midseason.  Leaves elliptic to oblong, apiculate apex, cuneate base, 5" long, glossy, olive green, retained 2 years.  Grows to a height of 3 ft. in 10 yrs.  Plant is cold hardy to 0F (-18C).  Hybridized by Dexter.

R. 'Yellow Eyes'

Lepidote Rhododendron: 'Yellow Eyes'

Flower pure white with prominent spotting of greenish-yellow (ages yellow) on upper 3 petals, broadly funnel-shaped, 1" across.  Dome-shaped truss has 8-9 flowers.  Blooms early midseason.  Leaves elliptic, down-curved edges, 1" long, dull green, heavily scaled, retained 2 years.  Leaves turn bronze in winter.  Plant has an upright growth habit.  Grows to a typical height of 3 ft. in 10 years.  Plant and bud hardy to -15F (-26C).  Hybridized by Nearing.

R. 'Autumn Twist'

Evergreen Azalea: 'Autumn Twist'

Flower white to light pink with purplish-pink blotch, stripes and sectors, about 3" across, single, openly funnel-shaped.  One of the Encore™ series of azaleas.  Spring bloom is followed by a second late summer to early fall blooming.  Leaves are dark green.  Plant has a rounded growth shape.  Typical plant height in 10 years is 3 to 4 feet, but it can grow up to 6 feet tall with comparable widths.  Plant is hardy to -10F (-23C).  Hybridized by Robert Lee.

R. 'Aromi Sunny-side-up'

Deciduous Azalea: 'Aromi Sunny-side-up'

Flower vivid yellow with a vivid orange-yellow blotch, tubular funnel-shaped, 1" across, moderately scented.  Flat truss holds 8 to 16 flowers.  Blooms early midseason.  Leaves elliptic, acute apex, cuneate base, 2" long, dull, yellow-green, deciduous.  Shrub grows to 6 ft. or more in 10 years.  Cold hardy to 10F (-12C).  Hybridized by Aromi.

Photos (top to bottom): Steve Henning, Sally and John Perkins, courtesy of Corrina S. Murray, Bob Stelloh.

Prior Years Selections for South East USA Region



















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