What is a Rhododendron?
As well as the popular garden shrubs displaying the dazzling colourful spring flowers we associate with the rhododendrons, this large and complex genus also includes various types of evergreen and deciduous azaleas, once classified as a separate group. A third group rapidly gaining in popularity are the vireyas, sometimes called Malesian rhododendrons, and often less accurately called ‘tropical’ rhododendrons. ¬† From ‘Growing Rhododendrons’ by Richard Francis ISBN 0864178980

At the gardens we have representatives of the three types of rhododendrons. The azaleas and vireyas are well established and flower well most years. During 2014 we made a definite attempt to increase the number of ‘cool climate’ rhododendrons in our display. Being in a sub-tropical area means there is always a risk from the high humidity, fungal attack and lack of cold winters. However, we are determined to give it our utmost effort and sort out just what can be grown successfully here. ¬†¬†Botanic Gardens newsletter March/April 2014. Brian Davison

Walk to rhododendrons

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Azaleas

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Cool Climate Rhododendron

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Vireyas

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Spring is the flowering time for most Rhododendrons but the Vireyas will spot flower throughout the year brightening up a corner