Description of the types and varieties of rhododendrons
Rhododendron is a great genus of decoratively flowering shrubs. It belongs to the friendly Vereskov family, numbering more than 1000 plant species, including deciduous, evergreen and semi-evergreen crops. In the genus of rhododendrons, you can find tall, medium-sized, dwarf shrubs, as well as trees. The homeland of culture is the Far East, but today small compact plants can be found in many garden areas of Russia.
Types and varieties of rhododendrons
Thanks to the tireless work of breeders, today a huge number of varieties of rhododendron are bred. Gardeners have an excellent choice of which plant to plant on their site - whether it be a miniature creeping shrub or medium-sized, and possibly even a majestic beautifully flowering bush.
Did you know? Rhododendron — long-lived plant whose shrubs can live up to 100 years of age.
Kamchatka rhododendron stands out sharply from other representatives of its kind. Some botanists even distinguish it in a separate group of terrodions. At first glance, the crop resembles a bunch of grass more than a bush. The culture has a creeping squat shape, a height of not more than 10 cm, above which vertical peduncles rise.Flowers - this is perhaps the only sign that the Kamchatka rhododendron is similar to its counterparts. The opened purple-lilac buds have a diameter of up to 5 cm, collected several in inflorescences. Varieties of this type of rhododendron differ only in the color of the buds, which can vary from white-pink to red-purple.
Pink rhododendron is a plant that can be grown as a shrub or tree. Depending on the variety, the culture can have a height of up to 2 m, characterized by a lush crown with a large number of branches and bright dark green small leaves. Flowering is quite early - some varieties start buds at the end of April. Their color depends on the variety, but light pink tones predominate. Petals can be smooth or terry. In the process of growing new varieties, scientists have endowed them with improved ability to tolerate frost.
For landing on the site, you can choose such rhododendrons of this type, such as:
- Christian Pink - A small bush that can be grown even in a pot, because its height does not exceed 60 cm. The saturated green plates of the leaves are decorated with silver pile. Blooms profusely in May with red-brown buds resembling bells.
- Synthlashion - one of the best varieties. The bush grows very slowly, gains maximum dimensions in width and height of up to 1.5 m, has large soft pink flowers collected in spherical inflorescences.
- Roseum Elegance - the proven variety of English selection is represented by slowly growing, but rather impressive shrubs reaching a maximum height of 3 m. During flowering, they are covered with large, slightly wavy inflorescences of pink-purple buds.
Canadian rhododendron is an unpretentious, frost-resistant crop that can be grown both in central Russia and in more severe climatic conditions. It is represented by low bushes, the height of which does not exceed 1 m. The diameter of a dense compact crown, consisting of many twisting branches and narrow green leaves with a bluish tint, has the same maximum size. Flowering occurs at the beginning of spring - during this period, light airy flowers begin to bloom on the bush, which are sometimes compared with fluttering moths.
Important! It is best to plant rhododendrons in the vicinity of conifers that shade them and cover the soil with mulch from fallen needles — such conditions are most favorable for culture.
The buds are collected in inflorescences of 4–7 pcs., Their shades vary from white, cream-yellow to pink-purple, depending on the variety, for example:
- Mandarin Lights - the bush, bred by American scientists, quickly grows with a spreading crown up to 2 m in diameter, with dark large leaves. It begins to bloom early, releasing wavy buds of red-orange color.
- Violetta- a variety native to the Czech Republic, has a small height of up to 1 m. It blooms in May for 3-4 weeks with dull purple buds collected in inflorescences of 18–20 pcs., And belongs to evergreen crops.
Dense rhododendron is an evergreen shrub that in nature creates unusually attractive paintings, covering alpine meadows with its thickets and climbing up steep slopes up to 4.5 km. A single plant has rather compact dimensions: its height does not exceed 1.2 m and its diameter is 0.5 m. Shrubs of Rhododendron impeditum grow very slowly, gaining about 2 cm per year. The leaves of the plant are small, depending on one variety or another. have a gray or bluish tint. Abundant flowering occurs at the end of May - at this time small buds of lavender shades, collected in inflorescences of 3-4 pieces, bloom on the tops of the shoots.
The best hybrid varieties:
- Blue tit - characterized by a low rounded crown, the diameter of which (up to 1.3 m) often exceeds the height (up to 1 m). Leaves are oval leathery, bluish-green. From the third decade of May, bushes are covered with lavender-blue buds collected in inflorescences of 5-6 pcs.
- Louisella- a small compact pillow-shaped plant, whose height does not exceed 40 cm. At the beginning of summer, a lot of purple buds bloom on the bush, which almost completely cover the greenery with their quantity.
This species includes multi-stemmed shrubs and small trees up to 8 m in height. The culture is characterized by a dense vast crown with dark green glossy leaves. During the flowering period, which occurs at the end of spring or beginning of summer, numerous fragrant buds of dark pink and light purple tones bloom, gathered in corymbose inflorescences. This is one of the oldest plants that survived the Ice Age. The culture got its name from the place of its growth - the region of South Asia, which was called Pontus and was located along the coast of the Pontic (Black) Sea.
Popular varieties for growing on a personal plot:
- Blue Peter - A fairly large shrub with a compact crown. Under favorable conditions, grows up to 2 m in width and height. It is characterized by large bright leaves and large buds up to 6 cm in diameter of lavender-blue color. Flowering begins in late May and lasts until mid-June.
- Anah kruschke - the variety is represented by rounded shrubs with an average growth and crown width of about 1.8 m. It blooms in April-May, covered with a mass of succulent reddish-purple inflorescences.
Hollow rhododendron is one of the most hardy winter-hardy species that grows in the wild in North America. It is represented by shrubs, the average height of which is 2–2.5 m. It blooms simultaneously with the appearance of foliage, when a lot of fragrant inflorescences with elegant pink, orange or white flowers appear on the background of a bright green crown.
Its hybrid varieties:
- Northern Heights - deciduous plant withstanding frosts down to -40 ° С. During flowering, shrubs are covered with white buds, each of which is decorated with one bright yellow petal.
- Golden Lights - deciduous bush, reaching a height of 1.7 m. The leaves are first saturated green, and by autumn they acquire a red tint.The flowers of yellow-orange color bloom in early May, have a pleasant sweetish aroma.
Rhododendron tree - a decorative garden shrub with powerful vertical shoots. The diameter of the crown can be several times the height of the tree and reach 5 m. The culture blooms from July to September. During this period, bell-shaped buds of white, pink color, sometimes more saturated red shades, bloom on the bushes. For planting on the site, you can consider such varieties as Makino with buds of pale pink color, or Scarlett Vonder with graceful scarlet flowers.
Video: Rhododendron Tree
The name of this culture speaks for itself. Dwarf rhododendron is a stunted decorative evergreen bush, the height of which in adulthood does not exceed 60 cm. The plant has a dense, spherical crown, which makes it a popular object of landscape design. Its many stems, rushing to the ground, are covered with dark green small leaves.
Inflorescences consist of several small cup-shaped flowers, each of which is about 4 cm in diameter. The color of the buds is the most diverse. For planting on the site, you can choose, for example, the Lyudlovi Wren variety with lemon yellow small flowers, Amethyst - with blue-purple buds, snow-white Frederick. The pillow-shaped bushes of the Becca variety of Finnish selection look beautiful. Their sizes do not exceed 1 m in width and height, the flowers are intense pink with brownish blotches.
Daursky (Far Eastern)
Daurian rhododendron is a beautifully flowering shrub that grows to 4 m in height. Originally from Transbaikalia, it grows in the northern Chinese regions, in Korea and the Far East, as well as on the Japanese islands. Flowering - early, in cultivated conditions, the buds begin to blossom already in mid-April. The flowers are bright, purple-pink tones, very rare specimens with white inflorescences. Flowering is long, under favorable conditions it can last up to 40 days.
The peculiarity of this species is that many of its wild forms are very different from each other. As a result, today there are many hybrid varieties that also have significant differences. For example, Elit is a fast-growing tall shrub (up to 4.5 m) with pink flowers, and Checkmate at the age of 10 barely reaches a height of 120 cm.
Video: rhododendron daursky
The species actively grows in the highlands of Southern Europe - in the Alps, Pyrenees, Apennines, wintering under the thickness of snow, which in itself speaks of its frost resistance. The culture is represented by low evergreen densely branched shrubs, no more than 70 cm high. The crown is creeping, grows to 1 m in diameter. The leaves on top are shiny green, and the bottom has a rusty hue. The flowering of this species of rhododendrons is quite late - falls at the end of June and lasts for a month. The flowers are medium-sized, pink-red, sometimes white.
Rhododendron is dull - a semi-evergreen bush with a pillow-shaped crown. It grows very slowly, annual growth is about 2 cm. At 10 years of age, the plant reaches a height of only 30 cm, and its maximum height in adulthood is 1 m. Green leaves darken in the summer, and in the fall they turn yellow-crimson. From the age of 6, shrubs begin to bloom.
Did you know? Gigantic representatives are found in the genus of rhododendrons — trees up to 30 m high.
Large pink flowers, about 4 cm in diameter, bloom in the second half of May, exude a pleasant tangible aroma that attracts a large number of butterflies to the garden. This type of rhododendron belongs to the Ottawa variety, which is popular among gardeners due to its compact size (up to 90 cm) and abundant flowering, during which the buds completely cover the bush.The flowers have a bright purple color, with a pronounced pattern on the upper petals.
Despite its name, this type of rhododendron is represented not by the highest, but very branched shrubs, up to 3 m in size. The flowering palette is quite diverse, depending on the particular variety. Widespread species in eastern North America. First cultivated in 1736. Today it has a great variety variety. In particular, such popular varieties as Albert Clouse, Red River, Summer Snow and many others belong to his collection.
Large-leaved rhododendron - an evergreen shrub or small tree up to 5 m in height. It has a spreading crown with straight strong branches. It grows rapidly, the volume of the crown increases by an average of 15 cm per year. The size of the leaves fully corresponds to the name of this type of rhododendron - the length of the oblong leaf plates reaches 20 cm, they are maple-shaped at the base, and pointed at the apex. Bushes in June bloom with lush inflorescences, each of which contains 18–20 flowers of pale pink or purple color.
This species includes an extensive group of plants, the bulk of which is concentrated in nature in China and the Himalayas. Their sizes, shapes, periods and color of flowering can also radically differ. For example, the most cultivated gardeners include such varieties as:
- Vaseya - deciduous shrub, capable of reaching a 5-meter height in the wild, but in the culture does not exceed 2.5 m. Flowers on the bushes bloom before the leaves appear. The buds are pale or dark pink, with reddish spots, have a pleasant aroma.
- Snow pearl - winter-hardy Finnish selection. In late spring, multiple white buds with a yellowish throat bloom on medium-tall densely branched bushes.
- Matador- a low-growing shrub that has a large crown in adulthood up to 130 cm in diameter. It blooms in late spring, throwing out wide, star-shaped dark red flowers, each of which has a black eye.
- Sylvester - an evergreen small shrub, the main advantage of which is the love of cold conditions and shady areas, unlike most other rhododendrons who prefer sun and heat. In late spring, the bushes are covered with small silver-pink flowers, similar to stars.
- Red jack - evergreen shrub up to 2.5 m in height and width. The flowers are very spectacular, ruby red with wavy edges.
- Lavandula - The bush reaches its maximum size up to 1.5 m in height only by the age of 25 years. It blooms in June. Inflorescences are large, consist of buds with wavy edges of lavender color.
- Duke of York - A tall, dense, sprawling shrub with charming decorative flowers. The buds are carmine-pink, in the center the petals are lighter with a slight corrugation, and pistachio spots are visible on the upper petals.
- Merge - The small compact bushes of this Finnish variety have amazing frost resistance. Blossom in red and pink buds with an original orange hue and yellow-brown blotches.
Semi-evergreen include rhododendrons, which respond in two ways to winter frosts. In autumn, they drop only part of the leaves, usually from the bottom of the bush. Leaves that remain on the tops of the shoots are folded into tubules. Moreover, they sometimes twist to such an extent that it creates a misleading impression that the bush is completely naked. With the onset of the thaw, they unfold again - this can happen even in winter.
One of the pronounced representatives of the semi-evergreen group is the Ledebur rhododendron. This is a medium-sized shrub that grows to 1.8 m. By winter, it drops only a small part of the foliage, which then gradually rejuvenates over the next season.It blooms in large lilac-pink flowers.
Small-leaved rhododendron - an evergreen dwarf shrub, the height of which barely reaches 1 m. Shoots can have a straight or creeping shape, depending on the variety. Rhododendron got its name due to the elegant shape of the leaf plates. Their length can be called average - about 8-10 cm, but the width is very small - up to 4 mm, which makes them seem very small. Flowering occurs in May. Flowers - white or purple-pink, collected several pieces in inflorescences.
Varieties by color
Choosing a decorative shrub for planting, many gardeners and landscape designers pay attention, first of all, to the colors and shades of future buds. At the same time, some rely on personal sympathies, while others make a choice of a palette that will most closely correspond to the design concept.
Today, plants with white flowers are especially appreciated by landscape designers. They look stylish and modern in minimalist areas, where the riot of colors becomes redundant. Snow-white tones against the backdrop of greenery create a feeling of innocence and purity, visually expand the territory and add a special airiness to the site.
Important! Rhododendrons can not be fed with nitrogen fertilizers in the summer and autumn, otherwise ordinary leafy ones will form instead of flower buds.
If you are a supporter of this trend in the landscape, pay attention to such varieties of rhododendrons, such as:
- Cunningham White - evergreen shrub cultivated in Europe since the middle of the XVII century. In adulthood, it reaches 2 m in height and width, has bright green foliage and snow-white large flowers, a special highlight of which is given by neat yellow blotches in the center of the buds. The first time blooms in May, the second in September, prefers darkened areas with fertile loose acidified soil.
- Persil- deciduous shrub that begins to bloom even before the leaves bloom. Large cup-shaped snow-white buds with bright golden spots appear on the bushes.
Orange and yellow flowers add notes of cheerfulness to the garden, improve mood and energize its owners. Bright fiery-sunny colors are now in fashion, they give the site design a special temperament.
If you want to plant rhododendrons with orange buds, it is worth considering such varieties as:
- Gibraltar - compact shrub about 1.5 m tall. In May, simultaneously with foliage, many buds appear on it. Large flowers, up to 10 cm in diameter, have a bright orange color.
- Fireball- fast growing bush. At the end of spring, red-orange flowers bloom in it in the form of bells with a yellow neck. In autumn, foliage takes on such shades.
- Sunte nectarine - erect shrub with a wide crown. Flowers - bell-shaped, bright yellow with orange spots, collected in inflorescences of 10-15 pcs.
The Mandarin Lights variety considered above also belongs to this group, one name of which already speaks for itself. Fiery aggression of orange tones, if desired, can be diluted with calmer cold yellow paints. For this, varieties such as Golden Night and Golden Sunset are suitable.
Pink color gives the garden plot a special romantic mood. It is pleasing to the eye and goes well with green foliage. In addition, the unobtrusive tones allow you to plant shrubs with pink blooms in the vicinity of any other flowering crops, thus creating monochrome or variegated compositions.
The best varieties of pink rhododendrons are:
- Furnivall’s Daughter - A large-flowered hybrid with pink flowers opening in late spring. On the upper petals there are dark pink spots that give special expressiveness to inflorescences.
- Diana - shrub with bright glossy foliage and salmon-pink buds.
- Krolowa bona - a bush of Polish selection, the flowering of which is sharply distinguished by neon-pink tones.
Many gardeners prefer the blue palette. It is associated with water and celestial elements, evokes a sense of calm and tranquility. Blue buds look great on areas decorated in a rustic style, although they occupy a worthy place in modern design areas.
Important! Rhododendrons are poisonous plants. They contain andromedotoxin, which causes nausea, aggravates headaches, and can also lead to paralysis and even death.
Such blue varieties of rhododendrons as:
- Goldflimmer - a sprawling hemispherical shrub with beautiful flowers, in which the light blue color of the neck is replaced by a darker, saturated tone of the petals.
- Boursalt - bush with a spreading crown, growing up to 2.5 m wide. Flowering begins in the second decade of May and lasts 3-4 weeks. Multiple buds of saturated blue with a lilac shade and a greenish-yellow spot bloom on the shrub, which gives a special decorative effect.
- Blue tit - One of the best varieties with light blue flowers collected in inflorescences of 4-6 pcs. The plant itself is represented by low evergreen shrubs not exceeding a meter high.
Delicate shades of purple are no worse than blue that can relieve nervous tension, create a calm, cozy atmosphere in the garden.
When choosing rhododendrons with lilac flowers, pay attention to the following varieties:
- Peter Alan - a plant whose flowers have a blue-violet color with a spectacular brown spot on the upper petal, which gives a special variegation to the bud.
- Azurwolke - evergreen shrub up to 1 m in height, with a rounded compact crown. It blooms from the first ten days of May with lilac-blue or dark purple inflorescences.
The variety of luxurious shrubs of rhododendrons is very large. Many types and varieties make it possible to decorate with the help of these plants the most unusual floristic pictures, to realize any design decisions even on the smallest plot.