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Rhododendron of the Year Plant Awards: 2022

South Central USA Region

R. 'Dandy Man Color Wheel'

Elepidote Rhododendron: 'Dandy Man Color Wheel'

Flower inside opens mix of light purplish pink and very pale purple, dorsal blotch is colored pale yellow green, outside is vivid purplish red fading to light purplish pink at tips, single, funnel shaped, about ¾" across.  Blooms midseason.  Leaves elliptic or oblong, broadly acute apex, rounded base, 3¾" long, greenish yellow.  Typical height: 3 ft. in 10 years.  Rounded and upright, densely branched plant habit.  Plant is cold hardy to 0F (-18C).  Good heat tolerance.  Hybridized by Ranney.  U.S. Plant Patent #31150.

R. 'Black Hat'

Lepidote Rhododendron: 'Black Hat'

Flower moderate pale pink to vivid reddish purple, with a strong purplish red and strong purplish pink blotch, tubular, trumpet-like shape, edges slightly ruffled, 2" across, slight fragrance.  Inflorescences at terminal shoots hold 3 - 12 flowers.  Blooms early season.  Leaves elliptic, broadly acute apex, occasionally broadly acuminate, cuneate base, 2" long, thick, very dark purple-green, almost black in cold weather.  Well-branched, rounded plant habit.  Grows to a typical height of 3 ft. in 10 years.  Plant is hardy to -15F (-26C).  Hybridized by Ranney.

R. 'Rosebud'

Evergreen Azalea: 'Rosebud'

Flower strong purplish-pink, flushed with slight veining of deep purplish pink, broadly funnel-shaped, double, hose-in-hose, 1⅛" across.  Blooms midseason.  Leaves elliptic, 1" to 1" long, glossy, mid green.  Spreading, dense habit.  Grows to a typical height of 4 ft in 10 yrs.  Hardy to -10 F (-23 C).  Hybridized by Gable.  Received the ARS Award of Merit and the First Class Certificate from the Royal Horticultural Society.

R. 'Lemon Lights'

Deciduous Azalea: 'Lemon Lights'

Flower brilliant yellow with a vivid orange-yellow blotch on dorsal lobe, tubular funnel-shaped, wavy lobes, about 2" across, slightly scented.  Ball-shaped truss has 8 to 10 flowers.  Blooms late midseason.  Leaves elliptic, acute apex, cuneate base, 3⅛" to 4" long, slightly glossy, moderate olive green, deciduous.  Grows to a typical height of 5 ft. in 10 years.  Upright, open plant habit.  Plant and bud hardy to -35F (-37C).  Hybridized at University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Photos (top to bottom) courtesy of, courtesy of, Sally and John Perkins, Harold Greer.

Prior Years Selections for South Central USA Region






















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