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.
At the next Greater Philadelphia Chapter meeting Jerry O'Dell of Tyler Arboretum will be presenting a program on "The Wister Rhododendron Garden: Rewards and Challenges of Managing a Historic Collection.". The meeting takes place on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at the Widener building of Morris Arboretum.