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Rhododendron and azaleas come in a wide range of colors and foliage.  In their beauty they surpass virtually any other plant in the landscape.  If you are interested in learning more about growing and collecting rhododendrons and azaleas, the American Rhododendron Society is just the right society for you to join.  Its activities include national and regional meetings, publication of excellent journals, scientific studies and research.
 
Greater Philadelphia Chapter is one of the many chapters of the society.  Our chapter sponsors flower shows, plant sales, cut flower competitions (truss shows), annual banquets, picnics, program meetings with expert speakers providing exchange of advice and expertise as well as good fellowship among fellow gardeners. 
 
Every year, volunteers from our chapter collect cuttings of native and hybrid rhododendrons from the gardens of members and friends of the chapter.  We root the cuttings and later transplant them into four-inch pots.  We then sell these rare, unusual and generally unavailable varieties at a minimal cost to our members at our Plants for Members sale.  We have also begun to propagate some varieties by grafting and offer these for sale.
 
In case you were wondering, azaleas are rhododendrons. In botany, the genus is Rhododendron, with roughly 1,000 species and uncountable hybrids. The genus is divided into four sets of garden plants: large-leaf rhododendrons (the classic, also known as elepidotes), little-leaf rhododendrons (lepidotes), evergreen azaleas, and deciduous azaleas. There is a fifth group of rhododendrons, vireyas, which are tropical plants with growing conditions similar to those of orchids.

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Calendar.

April 9, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. Board of Directors meeting. Home of Craig Conover.

April 13, Saturday Annual Banquet, Sunnybrook Golf Club. Presentation by photographer Karl Garcens III.

April 20, Saturday, 9 a.m. Propagation workday (potting up rooted cuttings and grafts). Kristoph Nursery, Millstone, NJ. 

May 10-11, Friday-Saturday Annual Plant Sale, Morris Arboretum,

May 16-19, 2019 ARS Annual Convention, Desmond Hotel, Malvern, Pa.

June 30, Sunday, 2 p.m. Joint Picnic and Annual Meetings, Greater Philadelphia and Valley Forge Chapters, home of Perc Moser, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

August 18, Sunday District 8 Cutting Exchange and Auction.

September 8, Sunday Chapter Meeting, Plants for Members sale, Morris Arboretum.

September 27-20 ARS Fall Conference, Parksville, British Columbia.

October 17, Thursday 7:30 p.m.Valley Forge Chapter meeting, Jenkins Arboretum. Speaker: Ken LeRoy "Thomas Meehan: Father of Philadelphia Parks."

October 20, Sunday 1:00 p.m. Chapter Meeting with pot luck brunch, Morris Arboretum. Speaker: Nicole Judy Rhoads, "Designing and Cultivating a Gold Metal Garden."

October 29-November 1. New Zealand Rhododendron Association 75th Jubilee Annual Confeence, Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand. Information: https:''rhododendron.org.na/conferenve_info2019.php.

November 10, Sunday 11:30 a.m. Valley Forge Chapter Luncheon Banquet and Greater Philadelphia monthly meeting, St David's Golf Club. Speaker:Jenny Rose Carey. "Glorious Shade: The Art of Shade Gardening."

Jamuary 12, 2020, 1:30 p.m. Chapter meeting, Morris Arboretum. Speaker: Tom Smarr, new director of Jenkins Arboretum.

January 19, 2020, Sunday, 2:00 p.m. Valley Forge Chapter meeting, Jenkins Arboretum. Speaker: Linda Sirhart, "Azaleas and Rhododendrons at Winterthur."

February 11, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. Board of Directors meeting. Home of Craig Conover.

February 16, Sunday, 2:00 p.m. Joint Greater Philadelphia Valley Forge meeting. Uwchlan Meeting House, Lionville, PA.  Steve Kristoph channels Alex Trebek with "Rhododendron Jeopardy."

February 29-March 8.  Philadelphia Flower Show.

April 18, Saturday. Chapter Banquet. Speaker: Nancy Bell, frequent class leader at Mt. Cuba Center.

April 29-May 3. ARS national convention, Portland, Oregon.  more infprmation at http://ARS75.org.