Rhododendron ‘Golden Torch’ (‘Bambi’ x [‘Grosclaude Group’ x R. griersonianum) – This compact hybrid rhododendron is an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner with abundant trusses of creamy-yellow to pale pink flowers that emerge from pink buds in mid spring. It has matte green leaves with light indumentum on the reverse. Grows 2-3′ high by 3-4′ wide. Hardy to zone 7.
Rhododendron ponticum ‘Variegatum’ (syn. R. ponticum var. cheireanthifolium ‘Variegatum’, ‘Silver Edge’) – Most gardeners are drawn to the prominent white variegation on the thin mid green leaves. It bears open trusses of pale lilac-purple flowers from May into early June. Best grown in part sun as the margins scorch in the heat. Grows 5-7′ high by 4-6′ wide. Zone 6.
Rhododendron ‘Lady Clementine Mitford’ (syn. ‘Lady Clementina Mitford’) (R. maximum hybrid) – An old hybrid (introduced in 1870 by Waterer) that has passed the test of time and earned an RHS Award of Garden Merit. It bears peachy-pink trusses from late May into June, with individual flowers being white-throated and spotted in yellow. Sun tolerant. 5-7′ high and wide. Zone 6.
Rhododendron ‘Starry Night’ (syn. ‘Gletschernacht’, ‘Glacier Night’) (R. russatum x ‘Blue Diamond’) – A Hachmann hybrid with some of the darkest violet-purple blooms (in April) found on any rhododendron. The lance-shaped olive green leaves are slightly twisted and it prefers part to full sun with some shelter from cold winter winds. Grows 3 to 4′ high and wide. Zone 6.
Rhododendron ‘Ginny Gee’ (R. keiskei ‘Prostrate Form’ x R. racemosum) – A dwarf rhododendron with rose-pink buds that open to pale pink flowers and fade to white (with a pink blush) – these smother the entire plant in April. It is an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner and the dark green leaves take on a burgundy-bronze tone in winter. 18-24″ high by 2-3′. Zone 6.