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.



January 14, 2018, Sunday, 1:30 p.m. Chapter meeting. Morris Arboretum. Speaker: Julia Detwiler, "Creating Graceful Garden Transitions Through Ecological Restoration."

January 21, Sunday, 2 p.m. Valley Forge Chapter meeting, Jenkins Arboretum. Speaker: Jerry O'Dell, "Evolution of the Tyler Rhododendron Collection."

February 18, Sunday, 2 p.m. Joint Greater Philadelphia- Valley Forge meeting. Uwchlan Meeting House, Lionville, Pa.  Speaker: Ron Ribideau.  "Rhododendron Species for the Mid-Atlantic Region."

March 3-11, Philadelphia Flower Show.  Pennsylvania Convention Center.

March 15, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Valley Forge meeting. Speaker: Scott Guiser on herbicides. Jenkins Arboretum.

April 14, Saturday, 6 p.m.  Annual Chapter Banquet at Sunnybrook Golf Club, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. Speaker: Stephanie Cohen, "The Plant Diva."   

May 11-12, Friday - Saturday. Plant sale. Morris Arboretum.

May 12, Saturday joint Greater Philadelphia-Valley Forge Flower Competition (truss show), Morris Arboretum.

May 21-27, 2018 ARS Annual Convention, Bewmen, Germany, with pre- and post- convention tours.

June 17, Sunday Picnic and chapter Annual Meeting, Henry Foundation for Botanical Research, Gladwyne, Pa.

August 19, Sunday District 8 Cutting Exchange and Plant Auction.

September 16, Sunday 1:00 p.m. Chapter meeting, Plants for Members sale. Morris Arboretum.

October 14, Sunday 1:00 p.m. Chapter meeting with potluck brunch. Morris Arboretum.

October 19-20 ARS Eastern Fall Conference, Chattanooga, Tenn.

November 3-6 New Zealand Rhododendron Association annual conference. Nelson, New Zealand. 

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