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Rhododendron of the Year Plant Awards: 2024


Great Lakes USA Region

R. 'Ingrid Mehlquist'

Elepidote Rhododendron: 'Ingrid Mehlquist'

Flower pale pink, maturing to pure white, burgundy blotch, broadly funnel-shaped, 2" across, wavy-edged lobes, slightly fragrant.  Ball-shaped truss has 20-22 flowers.  A late midseason bloomer.  Leaves elliptic to slightly obovate, broadly acute apex, cuneate base, flat, about 2" long, glossy, dark green above, pale tan aging to rusty brown indumentum.  Hairy petioles.  Dense, spreading habit.  Very resistant to root rot.  Grows to a typical height of 2 ft. tall in 10 years.  Hardy to -20F (-29C).  Hybridized by Mehlquist.

 
R. 'Llenroc'

Lepidote Rhododendron: 'Llenroc'

Flower pale purplish pink with yellow blotch, openly funnel-shaped, wavy-edged lobes.  Dome-shaped truss holds about 4 flowers.  Blooms early midseason.  Leaves elliptic, flat, acute apex, cuneate base, 3" long, dark green, approx. 2/3 of the leaves drop in winter.  Open plant habit.  Hybridized by Mezitt.

 
R. yedoense var. poukhanense 'Compacta'

Evergreen Azalea: R. yedoense var. poukhanense 'Compacta'

Flower rose-pink to pale lilac-purple, broadly funnel-shaped, fragrant.  Truss holds 2 to 3 flowers.  Blooms early midseason.  Leaves elliptic-lanceolate to oblanceolate, spring leaves deciduous, to 2" long, summer leaves smaller, almost deciduous. Semi-upright plant habit.  Smaller version of the species.  Grows to a typical height of 3 ft. in 10 yrs.  Grows twice as wide as tall.  Cold hardy to -15F (-26C).  Native species that grows in the wild in Korea and Japan (Tsushima).

 
R. prunifolium

Deciduous Azalea: R. prunifolium

Flower usually orange-red to vivid red, occasionally light orange, funnel-shaped, 1" to 2" across.  Inflorescence has 4-7 flowers.  Blooms very late.  Leaves elliptic to obovate, up to 6" long, medium green, deciduous.  Upright, spreading, open growth habit.  Height: 6 ft. or more in 10 years.  Cold hardy to -10F (-23C).  Native species found in the wild in the Georgia-Alabama border area.

Photos (top to bottom): Sally and John Perkins, Harold Greer, Sally and John Perkins, Boris Bauer.

Prior Years Selections for Great Lakes USA Region

2023

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004


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