Overview of the most beautiful types of flowering rhododendrons for the garden
There are many beautifully flowering shrubs. If you ask people living in different places, which plant they would call the most attractive, Montenegro, Kashkara, Drapostan, Shkery and Ledum will surely fall into the top ten. And under all these names lies the well-known and beloved by many rhododendrons. In spring, blooming rhododendrons impress with their decorative qualities. The genus of these ancient plants is based on more than 1000 species, from which about 12 thousand varieties are obtained. So different, deciduous and evergreen, they invariably occupy the most honorable places in our gardens and summer cottages.
Rhododendrons belong to the Vereskov family. Depending on the variety, these shrubs of different heights can drop leaves or remain evergreen.
Low-growing varieties are most often used to decorate rocky gardens, greenhouses and rock gardens. Usually these plants form flowering islets on lawns: they are planted both individually and in groups. Rhododendrons look good in mixborders.
Not surprisingly, most species of this plant are honey plants. That's just honey, obtained from them, it is impossible to eat - it is toxic
Depending on the type of plant, its shoots can be pubescent or bare. Leaves differ not only in size, but also in shape. They can be sedentary or attached to branches with petioles. More often they have an ovoid shape, can be leathery or pubescent.
All the beauty of this shrub is concentrated in its flowers. They are not only bright, but also fragrant, have a large corolla of irregular shape and make inflorescences in the form of a shield or umbrella. Sometimes flowers are solitary, but invariably catchy and very beautiful. The variety of their color is striking: from snow-white to violet-purple. Rhododendrons delight with red, yellow, purple and pink flowers.
Mountain plant species
Mountain dope are those rhododendrons that grow high in the mountains. They are not too common in our gardens. To successfully grow and bloom, they must go through a difficult period of acclimatization. At the same time, dwarf varieties, which reach only a meter in height, can be grown in rock gardens.
Most often, Kamchatka, racemose, reddish, equally tall, Canadian, dense, stiff-haired and rusty rhododendrons are used for these purposes. If the size of the rock garden allows, then they can also accommodate relatively tall plants that will surprise you with diverse, but always attractive flowers. These are yellow and Japanese species, as well as the rhododendrons of Ledebour and Schlippenbach.
Deciduous Kamchatka shrub (Rh. Camtschaticum)
Kamchatka rhododendron reaches only 35 cm in height. It is found in the Kuril Islands, Kamchatka and Sakhalin, in Siberia. The plant has rounded thin leaves up to 5 cm in length. It blooms in June with large, 4 cm in diameter, flowers of blood-red or purplish-pink color. They grow one by one or in loose brushes of 2-5 flowers. They are located on long pedicels covered with bristles and hairs.
Kamchatka rhododendron is especially beautiful during the flowering period: it is a real decoration of the rock garden and garden. Cultivated since 1800
This plant tolerates frost well. Shadowy rocky areas with fresh and friable humus are familiar to him. Kamchatka rhododendron is often used for group plantings and to create borders.
Beautiful Siberian Ledum (Rh. Ledebourii Pojark)
Local residents call the rhododendron of Ledebur a Siberian rosemary or maralnik. In nature, it is found in the Sayan Mountains or Altai. This semi-evergreen shrub in a cultivated form grows 1-1.80 meters in height.
This plant blooms very early, so its branches are often used for winter distillation. Its rather large flowers smell of resin and have a lilac-pink color.
Rhododendron Ledebour is called semi-evergreen, because for the winter this plant retains most of its leaves. However, if winter is dry and cold, the amount of falling leaves may increase.
The shrub grows in shady places that are not blown by the winds, but are characterized by high humidity. Siberian ledum often forms real thickets on the stony banks of rivers and in the mountains. He prefers neighborhood with cedar-deciduous and deciduous forests.
Fragrant Pontic Azalea (Rh. Luteum, or Azalea roptica)
Pontic azalea, Turkish bacon and yellow stupor are all the names of the same yellow rhododendron. This is a large plant, whose height is two or more meters.
In winter, the leaves of the Pontic azalea (yellow rhododendron) fall, and when in May they begin to bloom again, a surprisingly beautiful flowering of this plant occurs
Pontic azalea will delight you with large orange or yellow flowers, reaching 5 cm in diameter. They make up an inflorescence similar to an umbrella. Each umbrella can have 7 or even 12 flowers. For a whole month the shrub stands covered with flowers, they will begin to fall off only in June. It grows in the highlands of the Caucasus and is sometimes found in Western Europe.
Rhododendron Caucasian (Rh. Caucasicum)
In a cultivated form, this shrub began to grow only in 1803. This is an evergreen plant with leathery leaves pointed at the ends. The Caucasian rhododendron grows to 1.5 meters in height. In the wild, it grows near snow fields in the subalpine zone in the Caucasus.
Caucasian rhododendron looks good in the form of borders, it is used in medicine. This plant is planted throughout the European part of Russia up to St. Petersburg
Its flowers have a diameter of about 4 cm, in shape they look like bells or shallow funnels. Usually they are white or cream, may have slightly greenish spots on their inner surface. However, there is a pale pink variety and even forms with pink flowers. Their ovaries, pedicels and calyxes are covered with rust-colored hairs. Flowers are collected in brushes of 8-12 pieces.
This shrub grows very slowly. Prefers shady and damp places. Therefore, in parks and gardens, it should be placed in moist and semi-shaded corners. It is used for both single and group landings.
Daurian plant variety (Rh. Dahuricum)
The locals often call the very beautiful rhododendron Daurian locals maralnik, bagul or rosemary. The shoots of this plant in winter can often be found on sale. Ledum tolerates winter well, blooms profusely and grows to a height of two meters. In winter, part of its leaves fall, and the other part may remain for another year.
In nature, Daurian rhododendron is found in the Far East and Altai, in Eastern Siberia and in the Sayans
The old branches of this shrub are curved and have a gray color in contrast to the young brown shoots. Its crown is decorated with single flowers of lilac-pink color. They reach three centimeters in diameter. Ledum blooms even before the appearance of leaves or simultaneously with their occurrence. Its leaves have a strong odor.
This plant, unlike other shrubs of the species, loves the sun and can grow in an arid region. If the lighting is not enough, the flowering of the bush will not be so magnificent. In culture, Ledum is common up to the Kola Peninsula. In folk medicine, this plant is valued for the arbutin, essential oils and tannins contained in it.
The White Wing of Tibet (Rh. Adamsii Rehd)
The Tibetan "White Wing" is often called a low odorous shrub - Adams rhododendron. It grows only up to 30-60 cm. Its thick-leaved leaves remain wintering on branches. They have a pleasant aroma, smooth surface and a slight white coating. Their back side is covered with scales and has a grayish-brown color.
Thickets of Adams rhododendron are located on mountainous rocky slopes, on rocks, in the tundra, and sometimes near the forest belt, in its upper part
The flowers of the plant are pale pink, cream or bright pink, but without a purple hue. They are assembled with dense brushes, having the shape of a shield, and located at the very tips of the branches. Adams rhododendron blooms in mid-June. Its flowering continues until the end of July. This plant loves soil containing lime.
In nature, this shrub can be found in the Far East and Siberia. He prefers continental climates.
Golden Cashkara (Rh. Aureum Georgi)
Kashkara golden - creeping shrub up to 60 cm in height. Its leaves have a shiny leathery surface. Their tops are pointed, and the bases look like a wedge. They are attached to the branch using short petioles. The corolla of the flowers of this plant in diameter reaches 5 cm.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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The bush blooms in May-June, and in July-August bears fruit. Its flowers are in the form of a wide bell, have elliptical lobes. They are collected in lush umbrella-shaped inflorescences, and their color is really golden yellow.
Golden Kashkara shrub grows in Sakhalin, Kamchatka and throughout the Far East, it can be found in the south of Yakutia, in Transbaikalia, in the Sayan Mountains, in Altai
Usually, kashkara forms dense thickets near the upper border of the forest. It is located quite high - from 800 to 2000 meters above sea level in the subalpine and alpine zones. Since ancient times, golden Kashkara has been used in folk medicine.
Evergreen narrow-leaved species
Selection of evergreen narrow-leaved rhododendrons produces nursery Weston (USA). This group combines the most unpretentious plants. Despite the modest conditions of their life, these shrubs are so beautiful that they are rightly called alpine roses.
They grow slowly. In the most favorable conditions for themselves, their growth is no more than 6 cm, and in the middle zone of Russia they grow no more than 3 cm, but they branch well. These rhododendrons look very beautiful, and legends even go about their unpretentiousness.
One of them tells about the case when a bush of rusty rhododendron lived and actively bloomed for more than thirty years. Perhaps this plant, which grew under the cover of a pine tree, would not attract attention if one day the old pine tree was not cut down. The shrub continued to grow and bloom, despite the fact that its lighting level has changed significantly. But for adult plants this is a serious stress! Nevertheless, he endured this test.
Decorative rusty rhododendron (Rh. Ferrugineum L.)
This shrub is notable for its low growth, only 70 cm, and a branched crown, which reaches a diameter of 1 meter. It grows on the slopes of the Alps, in the Pyrenees and on the Apennines. You need to look for it at an altitude of 1500-2800 meters above sea level. He prefers leached limestones.
The crown of a rusty rhododendron spreads, and its bark has a grayish-brown color. On top of it, leathery ovoid leaves are dark green in color, while the underside of the leaf is as if covered with rust
This plant blooms in late June, later than other species. Its flowering lasts approximately 30 days. The shape of the flower, this plant resembles hyacinth. Its flowers comprise inflorescences of 6-10 in each. They are not too large, have a diameter of only 2 cm, but are attracted by their bright red-pink colors. There are also white specimens.
The shrub tolerates frost well, is completely unpretentious and very decorative. It grows very slowly, growing by only 3 cm per year. It can also grow on calcareous soils if they are covered with a fair layer of humus, but prefers acidic ones. It is customary to grow it on the Alpine hills, and its group or even single plantings will become a decoration of the garden. It is propagated by seeds, layering and the method of dividing the bush.
Stiff-haired and evergreen (Rh. Hirsutum)
Rhododendron is a hairy grows in the areas of the Eastern and Middle Alps and in the mountains, which are located in the north-west of the former Yugoslavia. In the open spaces of the mountainous terrain, it forms whole thickets.
Located at an altitude of approximately 1200-1500 meters above sea level, its shrubs enter the woods. In nature, it is often crossed with rusty rhododendron, forming an unpretentious hybrid.
The young shoots of a slow-growing creeping bush of a stiff-haired rhododendron have a reddish color, but with age they become gray
This plant can be grown in central Russia, in the northern regions, in the Urals and in Altai, as well as in the Far East. It is easy to recognize it by the "cilia", which are located at the edges of the leaves. This shrub loves light, grows on slightly alkaline soils and limestones, is afraid of excess moisture and is able to live up to 50 years.
This evergreen shrub blooms in June - July. Its flowers do not smell, have a pink or white color and the shape of a bell. Each inflorescence contains from three to ten flowers. Flowers themselves are only up to 1.8 cm long, but their pedicels are almost twice as long.
Evergreen small-leaved variety
All of these rhododendrons come from China. In addition to small leaves, their distinguishing feature is an annual growth of 1-3 cm and a looser crown. The reason for such differences, experts believe the specifics of solar activity in the growing region.
Attractive (Rh. Keleticum)
No wonder this rhododendron was called attractive. In June, it blooms very beautifully for 18 days with large purple-violet flowers. This creeping shrub has a crown with a diameter of only 40 cm, and in height it reaches 15 cm. It tolerates cold well and survives under the snow. This plant is afraid of only one thing - getting wet.
For successful development, an attractive rhododendron needs moist, but well-drained, slightly acidic soils. For the alpine slides, he is a real find
Group of dense rhododendrons (Rh. Impeditum)
Dense rhododendron is a whole group of plants that grow in small bushes resembling a dense pillow. After planting, this shrub comes to its senses and blooms with individual flowers, but, having already settled down in a new place, pleases its owners with plentiful and long flowering.
This group of plants does not like getting wet, perceives sun baths well and has different winter hardiness, depending on variety.
Breeding dense rhododendrons are actively engaged by specialists from Germany and the Czech Republic. And the results of their work really delight Russian gardeners
Decorative blushing (Rh. Russatum)
The birthplace of the blushing rhododendron is Yunnan (China). This plant also forms a pillow up to a meter high and 80 cm in diameter. This species is called reddening, most likely due to the reddish-brown underside of its lanceolate leaves.
Blushing rhododendron grows on acidic, moistened, but well-drained soils and perfectly takes root in rock gardens and gardens of Russia
The plant blooms in early May with dark purple flowers with a white throat. They do not smell and make spectacular inflorescences of 4-5 flowers in each. This slow-growing shrub loves sunlight, tolerates winter cold well.
Large Evergreen Species
These varieties have been known to breeders for over a hundred years. They feel good in the conditions of Russia and are distributed throughout the territory of our country. They are very decorative and enjoy well-deserved success with gardeners.
In this category, I would like to highlight the Katevbin species (Rh. Catawbiense) . The birthplace of this winter-hardy evergreen rhododendron is North America. Thanks to the Katevba species, hybridization of rhododendrons was started.
The bush of this plant can reach 4 meters in height. Sometimes this is no longer a shrub, but a whole six-meter tree with long leaves and large flowers up to 15 cm in diameter. During its flowering period, the plant is covered with amazing lilac-purple flowers, similar to bells.
Katevba rhododendron is widely distributed in the highlands of North Carolina, near the Katevba River. On behalf of the river, he got his name
This rhododendron tolerates shade well, but prefers richly lit terrain. It grows on acidic and slightly acidic rich soils that are well-drained. It has been in culture since 1809, and is widely used in group and single landings.
Rhododendrons are very diverse. There are many hybrid varieties, and there are rare species that need protection, as in nature began to be found less and less. But all these plants are united by one quality - they are invariably attractive, unpretentious and deserve the most attentive attitude. And then they will become the most wonderful decoration of any garden.
Admire the collection of rhododendrons and azaleas collected in Leonardsley Garden: