Rhododendron • Rhododendron / Azalea • シャクナゲ / ツツジ • 石楠花 / 躑躅 • shakunage / tsutsuji
We have this sweet smelling azalea in many areas of the garden: one along the E path in Area G, one on the lawn in F (flanked by altaclerenses, blooming a tad bit earlier), one along the water in Q, one on the top of the rock wall in P, and three along the second shortcut in H – where you can just bend and inhale its fragrance, before getting on the stepping stones leading to Tea House Garden. Below is Corinne’s K.’s write-up for 2014:
Rhododendron ‘Daviesii’ is a deciduous azalea with an open, upright habit, bluish-green leaves and funnel-shaped, very fragrant cream flowers with a yellow flare. It was originally acquired by the Arboretum in 1959, before being planted in the Japanese Garden.
It belongs to the group “Ghent Hybrid Azaleas,” which refers to breeding efforts that began in Ghent, Belgium, in the early 1800’s. The “Viscosepalum Hybrids,” developed in England, include some of the earliest results of these efforts, with Rhododendron ‘Daviesii’ being a “reverse cross” of the cultivar named ‘Viscosepalum.’ In other words, the seed parent of the latter is the pollen parent of ‘Daviesii,’ and vice versa. The name Rhododendron viscosepalum ‘Daviesii’ has been used to refer to it, but our Arboretum records correctly refer to it as simply Rhododendron ‘Daviesii.’ [Corinne K.}
From Seattle gardener who described this azalea; I looked at his post again and yes, it clears up the confusion: This is the flower of a plant that is called by many names, including Azalea ‘Daviesii’, Rhododendron ‘Daviesii’, Rhododendron (or Azalea) ‘Viscosepalum’ var. ‘Daviesii’, Rhododendron viscosum x molle, Rhododendron x viscosepalum Rehder ‘Daviesii’, and the Daviesii Ghent hybrid Azalea. I just call it my Davies azalea (the group of plants we call azaleas is a subset of the species Rhododendron). But I don’t need to know its name. I know its face and its fragrance. This plant, a deciduous azalea, is a good friend of mine, an ally of my best self, an olfactory lamp on my soul’s journey. […]
This write-up from Royal Horticultural Society further clarifies (although I don’t know what British classification ‘(G) AGM’ means – the plant pic on their website matches ours) : Rhododendron ‘Daviesii’ (G) AGM: […] Ghent azaleas are hardy deciduous shrubs derived from R. luteum and various American species. They have slender-tubed, funnel-shaped, usually fragrant flowers in early summer, in shades of pink, yellow, orange, red and white. ‘Daviesii’ is a medium-sized deciduous shrub of open habit, with bluish-green leaves and buff buds opening to fragrant white flowers with a yellow flare, at first tinged pink, in late spring and early summer. […]