Rhododendron hybrid • azalea (in E, NE corner)

Rhododendron • Rhododendron / Azalea • シャクナゲ / ツツジ • 石楠花 / 躑躅 • shakunage / tsutsuji

This very vivid pink azalea usually blooms in mid-May on the NE corner-tip of Area E.  It’s noticeable, because it grows right next to the path, allowing people to take close-up photographs. Nothing much is known about this hybrid.


SJG • 5/15/18 – Rhododendron hybrid • azalea in Area E, NE corner


SJG • 5/15/18 – Rhododendron hybrid • azalea in E, NE corner – FLOWER

About hybrid azaleas from The PlantingTree:  […]  Hybrid Azaleas

Azalea Hybrids can be defined as a cross between two separate species or hybrids that are manipulated through human interaction for specific genetic characteristics. Hybrid azaleas cannot be reproduced through seeds; they must be reproduced from a cutting. This would be considered a clone of the mother plant. Hybrid azaleas can either be deciduous or evergreens. Azaleas have been hybridized for years. Azalea hybrids include a wide range of cultivars that are bred for their plant habits, sizes, bloom times, and colors. Creating hybrids ensures that there are azaleas that meet almost every landscape need or personal preference! […]

General information about “12 Different Types of Azaleas And Why They’re Good For Your Garden’ from Home Stratosphere: […] Although many people do not realize it, there are over 10,000 types of azaleas and approximately 800 species. Azaleas can be cut and replanted, where the plant will clone itself to make new azaleas, although they can also be grown from seeds.  They are beautiful plants and are well-known for their ability to grow almost anywhere. Azaleas also have various blooming times, colors, and sizes, and they can grow in a variety of conditions. Some are most common in the United States; below are descriptions of some of them. […]

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3 Rhododendron hybrid • azalea (in C around bench)

Rhododendron • Rhododendron / Azalea • シャクナゲ / ツツジ • 石楠花 / 躑躅 • shakunage / tsutsuji

The 3 hybrid azaleas that frame the bench in C all bloom in spring, but rarely at the same time.  This year their blossoms came close enough together, so for easy identification purposes I decided to fit them in one post.

In our Plant list they are described as follows:
• Rhododendron hybrid \ Azalea, 3 feet tall, 1 bush, corolla purplish pink; location: Southside of bench
• Rhododendron hybrid \ Azalea, 3 feet tall, 1 bush, corolla like lavender; location: Northside of bench
• Rhododendron hybrid \ Azalea (Wada’s), 40 inches tall, 2 bushes, corolla white; location: Behind of bench


SJG • 5/15/18 – 3 Rhododendron hybrid • azalea in C around bench


SJG • 5/15/18 – Rhododendron hybrid \ Azalea, 3 feet tall, 1 bush, corolla purplish pink; location: Southside of bench

Since only one of the azaleas has additional information, indicating that it was originally bread by Koichiro Wada, a Japanese botanist and nurseryman of 1920-40s, here is some information about the man (scarce on the English language internet):

Apparently, Mr. Wada bred all kinds of plants, including Koto no ito maple;  here is a short info from the Tree Center, a nursery in Davidsonville MD: […] Koichiro Wada was a famous Japanese plant breeder from the last century, who had a nursery in Yokohama. He also bred rhododendrons, and he introduced and named the Koto no ito Japanese Maple. […]


SJG • 5/15/18 – Rhododendron hybrid \ Azalea, 3 feet tall, 1 bush, corolla like lavender; location: Northside of bench

Also this from the blog of  John Grimshaw’s Garden Diary  from his post titled ‘Magnolia season and memories of Wada’:

[…] As is well known, it is named after Koichiro Wada, a Japanese nurseryman of high repute who is also commemorated by the splendid Rhododendron yakushimanum ‘Koichiro Wada’. Despite the valedictory tone Mr Wada was still very much alive when it was named by Brian Mulligan of the Washington Park Arboretum, where it had arrived as a seedling from Wada’s nursery in March 1940.[…]


SJG • 5/15/18 – Rhododendron hybrid \ Azalea (Wada’s), 40 inches tall, 2 bushes, corolla white; location: Behind of bench

[…] Mr Wada writes that during the War he was not levied into the army but was watched by the police owing to suspicion of being opposed to Japanese militarism. He worked in Tokyo, and both his house in Tokyo and later his house at Numazu were destroyed by bombs and his wife and son subsequently died from their injuries. He also writes “So far as the raising of new meritable plants of great future value are concerned the past seven years were not wasted. I have raised a wonderful strain of Azaleas, a wonderful coloured Rhododendron, a new strain of Rhododendron eminently desirable for gardens for the leaves, habit and flowers, a new hybrid Magnolia, a hybrid Hamamelis, many fine Camellias, etc.” ” […]


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Rhododendron hybrid • Azalea (orange-red in B, north of rock)

Rhododendron • Rhododendron / Azalea • シャクナゲ / ツツジ • 石楠花 / 躑躅 • shakunage / tsutsuji

It grows in area B, on the border of the main path, just north of the large rock and east of the Acer pomatum cultivar trunk – in fact it sits beneath the large canopy of that maple; one can imagine it mirrors landscape in Japan, where rhododendrons and azaleas often grow as the natural understory for the mountain forests.

Our Plant List describes it as ‘Rhododendron hybrid, azalea, 2 feet tall, spreading clump, corolla orange-red, blooms early June’.  As the blooming times are always only approximate, this year our azalea decided to put our its blossoms in mid-May, and it’ll be likely done and over with the job of blooming by early June).


SJG • 5/11/18 – Rhododendron hybrid • Azalea – orange-red in B, north of rock, underneath maple


SJG • 5/11/18 – Rhododendron hybrid • Azalea – orange-red in B

For the pictures of azaleas growing underneath trees in Japan go to this link from Japan Discovery – it shows Kurume Forest Azalea Park on Kyushu Island, where ‘”[…]62 thousand azaleas of 100 different varieties have been planted in this great location with its panoramic view of the Chikugo River and the Chikugo Plain[…]”.

Botany Boy in Japan has a description, pictures and 11 minutes beautiful video of the Japanese azalea temple garden, Daikozenji, where such pairings of azaleas and trees above them naturaly occur: […] On the border of Saga and Fukuoka Prefectures in northern Kyushu, is the “tsutsuji temple”, Daikozenji. Tsutsuji is the general term used for azaleas in the Japanese language, and this temple is stuffed full of them such that in late April and early May the place is aflame with their flowers. During this season thousands flock to the wooded slopes where the temple sits, nestled in a forest of cedar and maple trees, to view the spectacle. This temple has a history dating back nearly 1300 years, and is associated with the Tendai Sect, a form of Mahayana Buddhism. The various temple buildings are built at the base of Chigiriyama (“Pledge or Promise Mountain”). […]

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Rhododendron hybrid • Azalea (in A, by Fukuda plaque)

Rhododendron • Rhododendron / Azalea • シャクナゲ / ツツジ • 石楠花 / 躑躅 • shakunage / tsutsuji

Along with many named cultivars (numerous of Japanese origins), Seattle Japanese Garden also grows a number of unnamed hybrids, the one in A is one of them.  At 18 inches high with May blooming carmine-pink flowers  it stands by the entrance rock with a plaque commemorating James K. Fukuda (a bilingual staff member of the Japanese Consulate who was instrumental in fostering communication & cooperation among the garden’s builders) and the  ‘Japanese Garden’ sign, right at the entryway to the courtyard from the parking lot.

For Seattle Japanese Garden’s history (the Garden was constructed in 1960) go to Corinne Kennedy’s article ‘Juki Iida & Richard Yamasaki: Collaborating in Space & Time‘ and Koichi Kobayashi ‘Seattle Japanese Garden: draft Toward preservation/restoration and evolution’.


SJG •  5/15/18 – Rhododendron hybrid, azalea in A


SJG •  5/15/18 – Rhododendron hybrid, azalea in A

Since this particular azalea  is a hybrid of an unknown parentage, there is not much one can say about it, but perhaps you’d enjoy reading about differences between rhododendrons and azaleas from Spruce:

[…] The confusion is understandable since azalea plants and rhododendrons are related. All azaleas are Rhododendrons (note the capital R), but not all Rhododendrons are azaleas. Still confused? Well, you are in good company, company that includes the famous scientist, Linnaeus. Linnaeus is the man who gave us the scientific system for naming plants that we still use to this day.

Throughout the following explanation of scientific names versus common names, remember to take note of whether “Rhododendron” or “rhododendron” is used. One uses the capital R to refer to the plant genus and the lower case to refer to a subset of that genus. […]

So how would you be able to identify an azalea, as distinct from a rhododendron? On average (but there are exceptions), rhododendrons are larger shrubs than are azalea plants, and they have larger leaves. Also, in general, azalea flowers have five stamens, while the rhododendron flowers have ten stamens. The “stamens” of a flower are those thin stems sticking out (they are male flower parts and produce pollen). Finally, unlike rhododendrons, many azalea plants are deciduous. […]


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Rhododendron ‘Blue Danube’ • Azalea

Rhododendron • Rhododendron / Azalea • シャクナゲ / ツツジ • 石楠花 / 躑躅 • shakunage / tsutsuji

Two of them grow grow at the Area E, one West of lightpost, one along East path.  They are fairly new additions to the Garden – appeared in 2016 Plant Book List, and are described as 2 feet tall, corolla violet.  The bloom color is quite glowing and vivid,  some sources describe it as ‘hot magenta’, which is how they appear in their surroundings in our Garden.  Cursory googling brings up that ‘Blue Danube’ azaleas  are currently stocked in most nurseries (unlike some of our older azaleas which are long gone from the market place).


SJG • 5/11/18 – Rhododendron ‘Blue Danube’ • Azalea in Area E; photo taken from 1st shortcut, you can see the second one (along the East path) directly behind the one in foreground


SJG • 5/11/18 – Rhododendron ‘Blue Danube’ • Azalea

From The Royal Horticultural Society: […] ‘Blue Danube’ is a compact evergreen azalea with dull green, oblong leaves and broadly funnel-shaped, pale-centred, violet-blue flowers, 4cm wide, opening in late spring. […]

From Great Plant Pics:  Rhododendron ‘Blue Danube’, EVERGREEN AZALEA

Outstanding Qualities: This vigorous selection of evergreen azalea becomes covered with flowers in late April to early May. The large, intensely colored hot magenta flowers glow with a deeper purple red throat adding a sense of depth to the bloom. This old Belgium cultivar has a vigorous growth habit becoming an attractively tiered shrub as it matures. […]

From Plant Lust: […] This venerable variety from Boskoop, Holland, features May blooms colored deep red-violet and marked by purplish ribs and dark red blotches, quite unlike any other. Its habit is upright to 3′ and spreading. […]

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