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Rhododendron of the Year Plant Awards: 2020

Great Lakes USA Region

R. 'Francesca'

Elepidote Rhododendron: 'Francesca'

Flower vivid red, no markings, tubular-campanulate, 3" across.  Held in trusses of 19-25 flowers.  Blooms late midseason.  Leaves ovate, slightly inclined margins, dull, mid green.  Broad, rounded, open habit.  Does best in a somewhat shady location.  Grows to a typical height of 6 ft. in 10 years.  Cold hardy to -10F (-23C).  Hybridized by Consolini.

R. 'Ginny Gee'

Lepidote Rhododendron: 'Ginny Gee'

Flower white with pink mottling at edges both inside and on reverse, tubular funnel-shaped to widely funnel-shaped, wavy lobes, "-1" across.  Flowers fade to light pink or white.  Held in terminal clusters of multiple buds each with 3 - 5 flowers.  An early midseason bloomer.  Leaves elliptic, acute apex, cuneate base, 1" long, dark matte green, retained 2 - 3 years.  Some reddening of leaves in winter.  Compact, very dense growth habit.  Grows to an approximate height of 2 ft. in 10 years.  Cold hardy to -10F (-23C).  Hybridized by Berg.

R. 'Red Red'

Evergreen Azalea: 'Red Red'

Flower strong red, unmarked, openly funnel-shaped, 1" across.  Truss has 3 to 4 flowers.  Blooms midseason.  Leaves elliptic to broadly elliptic, acute apex, rounded base, 1" long, glossy, grayish olive green, turning reddish yellow in winter.  Upright, broad plant habit.  Low growing to approximately 2 ft. high in 10 years.  Cold hardy to -15F (-26C).  Hybridized by Shammarello.

R. austrinum

Deciduous Azalea: R. austrinum

Flower variable from plant to plant - yellow to orange, narrowly funnel-shaped, 1" across, slightly fragrant.  Held in radially symmetric trusses at the stem tips.  Blooms early midseason.  Leaves ovate or obovate to elliptic, up to 4" long, light green, deciduous.  Round plant habit.  Grows to a typical height of 5 ft. in 10 years.  Cold hardy to -5F (-21C).  Native species found growing in the wild in Northwestern Florida to Southeastern Mississippi.

Photos (top to bottom) by Joe Coleman, Ron Knight, Missouri Botanical Garden, Boris Bauer.

Prior Years Selections for Great Lakes USA Region

















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