Sunday, February 03, 2008

Rhododendron April Rose

Rhododendron April Rose is one of those "sunglasses" shrubs; extraordinarily bright raspberry mauve flowers cover this twiggy, four foot tall plant. It is one of the earliest lepidote rhododendrons to bloom in our garden, and really lights things up. It is a cross between R. mucronulatum, carolinianum, and dauricum, and is a Mehlquist hybrid. I've never completely decided if I'm madly in love with it or don't care for it... on the downside, its color is hard to match up with the rest of the spring garden, it is kind of twiggy, with leaves that don't look the best after a hard winter, and it blooms so early it sometimes gets completely nailed by late freezes. On the upside, the individual flowers really are rose-like, it is covered every spring with flowers even after sub-zero winters, and it certainly does brighten up the early spring garden on gloomy days. I think it might benefit by being combined with one of the early very pale pink or blush white rhodys to tone it down a little... or, I could just wear sunglasses.
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I have been intrigued by trees and shrubs that flower before the leaves appear.
Isn't it mysteriously unnatural that they are out of order?
that's a beautiful flower
Delighted... I guess just filling a niche???
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