Rhododendron reticulatum • Three leaf azalea

Sitting right at the entrance of the Garden, on the right:

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SJG • 4/17/12 – Rhododendron reticulatum – three leaf azalea, Area C

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SJG • 4/17/12 – Rhododendron reticulatum – three leaf azalea, flower

SJG • 5/2/12 – Rhododendron reticulatum – three leaf azalea – leaf

From NEW DISCOVERIES OF RHODODENDRONS IN JAPAN by Hideo Suzuki, Kumagaya, Japan:

Three-leaved azalea, dwarf form on the Island of Yakushima.
In the Western World, R. reticulatum seems to be a synonym for three-leaved azaleas and, if my knowledge is correct, many of these azaleas seem to be simply called R. reticulatum. As a matter of fact, the famous book “The Species of Rhododendron” includes several three-leaved azalea species, such as R. wadanum, R. nudipes, R. logopus, etc., in R. reticulatum.
In Japan, however, our taxonomists classify our indigenous three-leaved azaleas into as many as twenty-seven different species and varieties. In addition, there have been found a great many new forms. A controversy is developing in my country whether or not savants should have classified them into so many species and varieties.

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