Rhododendron ‘Cilpinense’ (Rhododendron ciliatum x Rhododendron moupinense) – A sometimes hard to find cultivar with apple blossom-like flowers that emerge from deep rose-coloured buds, opening pale pink and fading to near white. It begins blooming in late winter, making it a bit susceptible to frost damage. Grows 3.5′ high by 3.5′ wide. Hardy to zone 7.
Rhododendron ‘Snow Lady’ (Rhododendron leucaspis x Rhododendron ciliatum) – This charming rhododendron is one of a few that will flower in shade and the pure white blooms really stand out. These are usually borne from March to April over fuzzy green rounded leaves. This is a good choice for those north-facing foundation beds. Grows 3′ tall by 3-4′ wide. Hardy to zone 6.
Rhododendron ‘Christmas Cheer’ (Rhododendron caucasicum hybrid) – A very old cultivar which was once commonly forced in greenhouses for Christmas flowers, hence the name. It bears deep pink buds that open to trusses of blush pink flowers, fading as they get older. ‘Christmas Cheer’ generally shows colour from late January to March. Grows 4′ high by 4-5′ wide. Hardy to zone 6.
Rhododendron pemakoense – This species rhododendron is native to India and China. It bears pale pink fading to near-white funnel-shaped blooms from March to May and given its small stature, is a good choice for rock gardens. Rhododendron pemakoense is quite floriferous and has been in cultivation since 1924. Grows 1.5′ high by 2′ wide. Hardy to zone 7.
Rhododendron ‘PJM’ (R. minus var minus Carolinianum Group x R. dauricum) – ‘PJM’ or ‘Peter John Mezitt’ bears bright lavender-pink blooms from March to April. These are borne over glossy citronella-scented leaves that are green in summer and bronze-red in winter. ‘PJM’ is both cold hardy and tolerant of heat and sun. Grows 4-5′ high by 4′ wide. Hardy to zone 4.