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.
February 15 (Sunday), 2:00 pm at Uwchlan Quaker Meeting House*:
George Woodard “Hybridizing: Endless Disappointment”
George Woodard is Superintendant of the Howard Phipps Jr. Estate which has been turned into an arboretum with a very good Rhododendron collection. George was chair of the ARS Seed Exchange for six years and has been hybridizing rhododendrons for 30 years. George has been designing gardens for 25 years. He is a member of the Hortus Group which is comprised of horticulturists in the NY metropolitan area including the directors of Planting Fields Arboretum, Hofstra Arboretum, Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Wave Hill Gardens, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Battery Park, High Line, several large nurseries and some garden designers. They constantly tour other gardens all over the East Coast and discuss the plants and designs, and share information and inspirations with each other.
This is a joint meeting of the Philadelphia and Valley Forge Chapters. Refreshments will be provided by the two chapters.