Rhododendron melinanthum • rhododendron (D) in Area B

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SJG• 5/20/15: Rhododendron melinanthum • rhododendron (D) in Area B (it’s those 3-4 truncated stubs with green leaves in front of the round camellia bush)

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

I was waiting for it to boom all spring, and not sure what to expect: it finally happened, although Hiroko had to point out this plant to me: our Plant List says: ‘by path, north of thujopsis’, and I was looking at some very wrong plant.  R. melinanthum resides besides the 7 new ‘arnoldiana lavender’ bushes at the beginning of the Garden and is NOT looking very healthy, take a look…

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SJG 5/20/15 – Rhododendron melinanthum, FLOWER

From Hirsutum:  […]  R. mekongense var mekongense Melinanthum Group
Subgenus Rhododendron, Section Rhododendron, Subsection Trichoclada […]

From The Dunedin Botanic Garden is New Zealand: […] The flowers are open and quite flat-faced, with a sprinkling of greenish yellow spots on the upper part of the bell shaped part of the flower, known as the corolla. They have a refined delicate beauty.

Deciduous, the leaves have a much softer texture compared to the evergreen rhododendrons, as they do not have to withstand harsh winter weather. The leaves are in fact similar to those of their cousins, the deciduous azaleas. They emerge tinged purple before clearing to a light green that complements the light colouring of the flowers perfectly.

The leaf stalks on the new growth are covered in pure white bristles that also extend along the underside of the leaves, whilst the upper leaf surface is covered in downy hairs, softening the appearance of the whole plant.

So, although this is not a plant to take your breath away with its bold colour or luxuriant foliage, given a closer look, it has a charm all of its own. […]

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