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.

Recently, ARS chapters of ARS District 8 have an agreement with Tyler Arboretum

to establish a hybridizers test garden there, please go to Hybridizers' Test Garden page for more details.


April 15. Thursday, 7 p.m. Valley Forge- Jenkins joint virtual presentation, "Rare Finds and Exceptional Specimens: Preserving America's Finest Native Rhododendrons," Steve Wright, presenter.

May 7- May 8, Saturday-Sunday, Chaptrt Plant Sale inconjunction with Tyler Arboretum. annual plant sale 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

515 Painter Rd, Media, PA 19063.

For list of available rhododendrons click on our website: www.gpchapterars.org and click on "Plant Sale". You may review for available Tyler Arboretum plants at http://tylerarboretum.org/plant-sale.

May 8, Sunday, 7:30 -9:30 a.m. for entries. Joint Cut-Flower Competition (truss show) with Valley Forge Chapter, Jenkins Arboretum.

June 19, Sunday: Annual Meeting and Picnic, at the home of Michael Martin Mills, 632 Burnham Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19119. 1:00 p.m. Feasting will commence around 2:00 p.m.

September 11, Sunday: Plants-For-Members Sale, Morris Arboretum (Bloomfield) Farm section, directly opposite the public garden entrance at 100 E. Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118.