Rhododendron • シャクナゲ • 石楠花 • shakunage
We have two of those showy natives of China growing in SJG, both in area G, one very close to the path (facing the second shortcut), and one behind it, by the fence. They are both listed as 12′ tall, but appear taller (perhaps we forgot to accommodate for growth in our yearly lists, and it is not trimmed or pruned much). They seem almost identical in color, but the one by the path is listed as ‘corolla rose’, and the one by the fence as ‘corolla orchid’ – their petal are close in color, but the splotch inside of the flower different – this year the difference is almost not noticeable from the path, but below are the up-close pics of both.
From wikipedia: Rhododendron insigne (不凡杜鹃) is a rhododendron species native to southern Sichuan in China, where it grows at altitudes of 700–2000 meters. It is a shrub that grows to 1.5–6 m in height, with leathery leaves that are obovate-elliptic, obovate-lanceolate, oblong, or oblong-lanceolate, 8–13 by 2.5–4.5 cm in size. Flowers are pale to dark pink. Synonyms: None recorded. […]
From Chimacum Woods, a rhododendron nursery in Kingston, WA: Insigne delights with candy-striped flowers of pink and white supported by beautifully polished dark green leaves. The indumentum on the backside of the leaf is an equally polished silver.
Insigne makes a compact shrub that may reach four feet in ten years. It likes to branch and prefers a bright spot with some sun. It comes from Yunnan and Sichuan in western China.
Insigne is unique among rhododendrons because it insists on being deadheaded after blooming in order to initiate its new growth! (Usually deadheading just makes the plant look better). […]
Flora of China describes insigne native habitats: […] Woodlands, thickets, stream banks; 700–2000 m. S Sichuan. […]