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Rhododendron of the Year Plant Awards: 2020


Great Lakes USA Region

R. 'Francesca'

Elepidote Rhododendron: 'Francesca'

Flower vivid red, no markings, tubular-campanulate, 3" across.  Held in trusses of 19-25 flowers.  Blooms late midseason.  Leaves ovate, slightly inclined margins, dull, mid green.  Broad, rounded, open habit.  Does best in a somewhat shady location.  Grows to a typical height of 6 ft. in 10 years.  Cold hardy to -10F (-23C).  Hybridized by Consolini.

   
R. 'Ginny Gee'

Lepidote Rhododendron: 'Ginny Gee'

Flower white with pink mottling at edges both inside and on reverse, tubular funnel-shaped to widely funnel-shaped, wavy lobes, "-1" across.  Flowers fade to light pink or white.  Held in terminal clusters of multiple buds each with 3 - 5 flowers.  An early midseason bloomer.  Leaves elliptic, acute apex, cuneate base, 1" long, dark matte green, retained 2 - 3 years.  Some reddening of leaves in winter.  Compact, very dense growth habit.  Grows to an approximate height of 2 ft. in 10 years.  Cold hardy to -10F (-23C).  Hybridized by Berg.

 
R. 'Red Red'

Evergreen Azalea: 'Red Red'

Flower strong red, unmarked, openly funnel-shaped, 1" across.  Truss has 3 to 4 flowers.  Blooms midseason.  Leaves elliptic to broadly elliptic, acute apex, rounded base, 1" long, glossy, grayish olive green, turning reddish yellow in winter.  Upright, broad plant habit.  Low growing to approximately 2 ft. high in 10 years.  Cold hardy to -15F (-26C).  Hybridized by Shammarello.

 
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 Joe Coleman, Ron Knight, Missouri Botanical Garden, Boris Bauer.

Prior Years Selections for Great Lakes USA Region

2021

 

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004


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