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Rhododendron of the Year Plant Awards: 2021

South Central USA Region

R. 'Rabatz'

Elepidote Rhododendron: 'Rabatz'

Flower inside near vivid red with dark red spots on all lobes, outside vivid red, broadly funnel-campanulate shaped, 2"-3" across, wavy-edged.  Round truss has 9-11 flowers.  Blooms midseason to late midseason.  Leaves lanceolate to elliptic, acute at apex, cuneate at base, 3⅛"-4⅓" long, dark green.  Typical height: 5 ft. in 10 years.  Plant is cold hardy to -10F (-23C).  Hybridized by Hans Hachmann.

R. 'Dora Amateis'

Lepidote Rhododendron: 'Dora Amateis'

Flower white with faint green spotting, openly funnel-shaped, 2" across.  Held in lax truss of 6-8 flowers. Very floriferous plant.  Blooms early midseason.  Leaves elliptic, acute apex, cuneate base, re-curved, 2" long, light green with bronze highlights, if grown in full sun.  Compact habit.  Grows to a typical height of 3 ft. in 10 years.  Grows twice as wide as high.  Plant is hardy to -15F (-26C).  Prefers some shade for best performance.  Hybridized by Amateis.

R. 'Girard's Fuchsia'

Evergreen Azalea: 'Girard's Fuchsia'

Flower moderate to deep purplish-red with moderate purplish-red spots, reverse deep purplish-pink, broadly funnel-shaped, wavy lobes, 2" to 3" across.  Inflorescence 3 flowered.  Blooms midseason.  Leaves narrowly obovate to elliptic, apiculate apex, narrowly cuneate base, 1" long, glossy, moderate yellowish olive green.  Broad plant habit.  Grows to a typical height of 4 ft. in 10 years.  Cold hardy to -15F (-26C).  Hybridized by Girard.

R. austrinum

Deciduous Azalea: R. austrinum

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 up to 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 -15F (-26C).  Very heat tolerant.  Native species found in the Florida panhandle and nearby areas of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

Photos (top to bottom) by Odo Tschetsch, Eleanor Philp, Joe Coleman, Boris Bauer.

Prior Years Selections for South Central USA Region




















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