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Rhododendron of the Year Plant Awards: 2021


Mid-Atlantic USA Region

R. 'Jack Cowles'

Elepidote Rhododendron: 'Jack Cowles'

Flower moderate yellowish pink at edges, shading to pale yellowish pink in center, unmarked in throat or on lobes, openly funnel-shaped, wavy-edges, 3" across.  Ball-shaped truss has 14 flowers.  Blooms midseason.  Leaves oblong, mucronate at apex, 6" long, wavy edges, dark green, retained 2-3 years.  Upright plant growth habit.  Typical height: about 4 ft. in 10 years.  Plant and bud hardy to -5F (-21C).  Hybridized by Cowles.

 
R. 'Weston's Pink Diamond'

Lepidote Rhododendron: 'Weston's Pink Diamond'

Flower light vivid purplish red with orange-brown spot on dorsal lobe, flat saucer-shaped, semi-double, wavy lobes, ruffled center of petaloid stamens, 1" across.  Held in ball-shaped trusses with 8 to 12 flowers.  An early season bloomer.  Leaves lanceolate, acute apex, cuneate base, 1" long, glossy, yellow-green, retained 1 year.  Upright plant, well-branched, ⅔ as broad as high.  Grows to an approximate height of 5 ft. in 10 years.  Cold hardy to -10F (-23C).  Hybridized by Mezitt.

 
R. 'Betty Ellen'

Evergreen Azalea: 'Betty Ellen'

Flower purplish pink in bud, opening white inside with margins unevenly tinged light purplish pink, outside light purplish pink, broadly funnel-shaped, 3.2" across.  Truss holds 3 flowers.  Blooms midseason.  Leaves elliptic, acute apex, cuneate base, 2⅛" long, flat margins, moderate olive green.  Intermediate plant habit.  Grows to a typical height of about 3 ft. in 10 years.  Plant and bud cold hardy to at least 0F (-18C).  Hybridized by Stewart.

 
R. austrinum

Deciduous Azalea: R. austrinum

Known variously as the Flame azalea, Florida azalea, or the Florida Flame azalea.  Flower in shades of yellow, gold, and orange, narrowly funnel-shaped, very fragrant.  Blooms early midseason.  Leaves ovate or obovate to elliptic, up to 4" long, deciduous.  Reaches up to 10 ft. in the wild, but will often remain smaller in the garden, with a spread about half its height.  One of the easiest of the native azaleas to grow.  Cold hardy to -15F (-26C).  Very heat tolerant.  Native species found in the Florida panhandle and nearby areas of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

Photos (top to bottom) by Don Hyatt, Kenneth Cox, Carolyn Beck, Boris Bauer.

Prior Years Selections for Mid-Atlantic USA Region

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004


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