Evergreen Japanese Azaleas II

Rhododendron x ‘Elsie Lee’ (Shammarello Hybrid) – This cross of ‘Desiree’ and ‘Rosebud’ features pale lavender-blue semi-double flowers (2-3″ across) with subtle greenish-yellow throats flecked with reddish-purple spots. ‘Elsie Lee’ is an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner, blooms heavily at a relatively young age and is quite cold hardy. Grows 3′ high by 3-4′ wide. Zone 5.

Rhododendron x ‘Nico’ (syn. ‘Nico Red) (Vuyk Hybrid) – An attractive Japanese azalea with single cherry-red funnel-shaped flowers with definite pink undertones in late spring. These are nicely contrasted by the emerging lime foliage, which matures to a deep green. ‘Nico’ makes an excellent informal flowering hedge and tolerates sun. Grows 3′ high by 3-4′ wide. Zone 6.

Rhododendron x ‘Blue Danube’ (Kaempferi Hybrid) – An RHS Award of Garden Merit winner bearing unique funnel-shaped violet-red to purple single blooms (April to early May) with subtle deep red spots on the throat. This 1965 introduction is an RHS Award of Garden merit winner and also works quite well in containers. Grows 3′ high and is hardy to zone 6.

Rhododendron x ‘Johanna’ (syn. ‘Vuyk’s Johanna’) (Kaempferi Hybrid) – A Dutch hybrid with amazing deep green foliage which turns burgundy-red in the fall and stays that way all winter. This provides the perfect backdrop for the rich carmine-red flowers that appear from April to May. It is also an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner. Grows 4′ high by 5′ wide. Zone 6.

Rhododendron x ‘Rosebud’ (Gable Hybrid) – A cross of ‘Louise Gable’ and ‘Caroline Gable’ which has produced amazing double hose-in-hose shell pink blooms that much resemble rose buds as they are opening (May-June). It has a slightly spreading habit and is an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner. Bred from Kurume azaleas. Grows to 3′ high in 10 years. Zone 5.

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