Note: Again, I've abbreviated Rhododendron scientific names as "R" to save typing. Names of non-rhododendrons are spelled out completely. A couple of rhododendron terms that may or may not be familiar: indumentum - a coating of hairs on the undersides of the leaves; tomentum - a coating of hairs on the top surface of the leaves. Just remember, indumentum under and tomentum on top.
And with that quick lesson, away we go!
|One of the most striking (hardy) plants for me was this little R. proteoides. Yes, that fuzzy tomentum really was that vibrant rusty orange!|
|R. 'Ever Red', a new hybrid from Glendoick with exceptionally dark maroon foliage and dark wine red flowers. The RSF was the first source in the U.S. for this exciting new hybrid. It is also now available at Lael's Moon Garden and probably other nurseries and garden centers around the PNW.|
|Another form of R. roxieanum with narrower leaves. This shot was taken from the more shaded side of the plant, as it grows at the base of a tree and is reaching away somewhat towards the light.|
|I love the contrast of the lighter new growth, with its pearly sea-green color, against the darker green of the older leaves. The dark indumentum peaking through here and there adds another layer of depth.|
|A narrow leaf form, probably R. roxieanum var. oreonastes. These plants were 7-8 feet tall and at least 9 feet wide, so although it may be slow growing, this species can eventually become a large shrub. But look at that texture!|
|Stepping back a bit. This texture is hard to match or duplicate with any other hardy plant for the PNW.|
|Another wide-leaf form. Love the contrast with the light new growth and dark indumentum!|
The name on everyone's lips should be "Roxie!"
As you can probably tell by now, I'm rather enamored of R. roxieanum and could probably have spent quite a bit longer just examining the different forms in greater detail, but I had only begun to explore the garden. There's much, much more to see!
|An azalea hangs over a field of daylilies, centaurea, and Siberian irises.|
|A rhododendron I couldn't see the tag for, but had to include for the beautiful golden new growth.|
|One of the later-blooming species, R. dichroanthum ssp. siphocalyx. With colors that rival the tropical vireyas in vibrancy, this species has produced some fantastic hybrids.|
|Another I couldn't see the label for, but had to include for the thick, textured leaves with a dusting of tomentum.|
|I loved this Rubus species. The red hairs remind me of Gaultheria pseudonotabilis in the conservatory. Another plant I need to ask the good people at the RSBG to ID for me.|
|Whenever I see a mature Stewartia pseudocamellia, I have to take a picture of the bark. I dare you to resist doing the same.|
|Now that I've seen it in "person", Alchemilla alpina is my first choice in this genus and I'll definitely be using it in the future as a ground cover in shady beds.|
|Rodgersia makes a nice pairing with this rhododendron, a yakushimanum type, I believe.|
|R. tricanthum bursts with color. Rising above them in the background is a grove of magnificent Cornus controversa, or giant dogwood. I love the tree specimens at the RSBG as much as the rhodies.|
|A closer look at R. tricanthum.|