Rhododendrons with Bicolor Blooms

Rhododendron ‘Starbright Champagne’ ([‘Yaku Sunrise’ x ‘Hansel’] x ‘Lem’s Cameo’) – An unusual Rhododendron with star-shaped flowers (with long petals) of a creamy champagne with a bright ruby red blotch that looks like fireworks exploding. It blooms March to April and the new foliar growth is a beautiful burgundy-red. Grows 4′ high by 4-5′ wide. Hardy to zone 7.

Rhododendron ‘Eruption’ (‘Tarantella’ x ‘Seestadt Bremerhaven’) – Many consider this an improvement on ‘Fantastica’ with its large trusses (of 14-16 flowers) of creamy-white blooms with bright rose-pink picotee edges. These emerge from deep red buds and contrast well against the matte green foliage. It blooms from April to May and grows 4′ high by 5′ wide. Hardy to zone 6.

Rhododendron ‘Golden Gate’ – This cultivar originated as a seedling from Rhododendron dichroanthum spp. scyphocalyx and bears frilled individual flowers with eye-catching orange-pink edges and a bright yellow center. It features a compact growth habit and dark green foliage, but needs some protection from cold winter winds. Grows 3-4′ high and wide. Hardy to zone 6.

Rhododendron ‘President Roosevelt’ – This Rhododendron arboreum hybrid really stands out with its distinctive dark green leaves generously variegated with bright gold streaks along the midrib. This is topped off with large trusses of frilled flowers (March-April) with red edges, bleeding to pink and finally white in the center. Grows 4′ high by 4-5′ wide. Hardy to zone 7.

Rhododendron ‘Kokardia’ (‘Humboldt’ x ‘Direktor E. Hjelm’) – This German introduction was bred by Hachmann way back in 1957. It features trusses (12-17 flowers) of bright lavender-pink blooms with a striking ruby red blotch. It is quite sun tolerant and has dark green foliage with a slight indumentum on the reverse of the leaf. Grows 5′ high and wide. Hardy to zone 6.

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