One in Adelphi, Maryland, one in Wildwood, Florida, one at the US National Arboretum with a grandfatherly interest in many more around the DC area (unless noted, pictures are taken the day of post)
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Rhododendron kaempferi 'Dorsett' December bloomers continued
Encore Azaleas didn't invent reblooming.. These plants were in the Central Valley when I was in the Asian Collection the first time (coming on 20 years). I think it's safe to assume the plants are mature and they're about 10 feet tall which is what kaempferi does and more upright than spreading, also typical. The picture captures the flower color pretty well, maybe no ones favorite but pleasant enough and this time of year we're kind of in the beggars can't be choosers situation. The flowers will keep dribbling out all winter as temperatures allow; If it's over 45 F there will be flowers. Rhododendron kaempferi is a fairly cold hardy Azalea ranging up to USDA Zone 5 and I suspect the winter flowering is phenomenon limited to the southern end of its range. Luckily for us, Zone 7 is the southern end.