Rhododendrons: Looking for yellow rhodo that smells like lilies

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by zoe l, May 25, 2008.

  1. zoe l

    zoe l Member

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    Hi. A few years ago I was at a conference in Victoria and went to the botanical gardens at UVic. This was in April. As I wandered around I smelled the most glorious scent; it was like lilies. It proved to come from a yellow rhodo (not an azalea) that was some forty feet away. I looked at the plant identification tag and said to myself, I'll remember that, it's obvious. I believe it was a reasonable size plant, maybe five feet. It was not one of the huge ones.

    Well, the name slipped from memory and now I have a garden I'd really like this shrub for. I went back to Victoria a few weeks ago, thinking it'd been such a cold spring maybe it would still be in bloom in May. Of course I couldn't locate it.

    Could anyone tell me the name of this rhodo? It was extraordinarily free with its scent.

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    R. luteum ?
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    With its fragrant, tubular yellow flowers I've heard people looking to buy what turned out to be Rhododendron luteum call it a "honeysuckle".
     
  4. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Also referred to as a deciduous azalea, but an id tag would likely read Rhododendron luteum.
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    At least over here, Rhododendron luteum is in flower now (not in April), and the OP said "not an azalea".
     
  6. zoe l

    zoe l Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I looked up r.luteum and don't believe it's my quarry. It's a decidulous azalea and the flowers and stems, leaves, all typical for the form. What I saw was a rhodo with evergreen leaves, rather nice smallish ones, as I remember. It was worth looking up, though!
     
  7. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Thanks for moving the post Daniel. Zoe, Considering the climate at UVic, earlier blooming season compared to most of mainland B.C., and being able to grow less hardy rhodos there, it might be difficult to id. Flower truss size and shape might also help someone familiar with it. UVic may also have an accession list of their rhododendrons or maybe worth contacting the Victoria Rhododendron Society to narrow down the correct name, if it can't be identified here. If my memory serves me right, R. concatenens has fragrant foliage which can be quite noticeable in the evening, but not sure if it could be compared to lilies. Would be interesting to hear the correct id, if possible.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2008
  8. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    (moved to rhododendron forum)
     
  9. zoe l

    zoe l Member

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    Thanks so much, both for the suggestion and the actual move!
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    People often ask about plants convinced they are a certain type and then it turns out it's not, the azalea mentioned being asked about as a honeysuckle for instance. Maybe the rhodendendron in Victoria is something not usually hardy outdoors in this region like Rhododendron dalhousiae.

    http://images.google.com/images?gbv...&q=rhododendron+dalhousiae&btnG=Search+Images

    Evergreen + yellow + markedly fragrant is not a frequent combination in rhododendrons, I don't think even the yellow (or orange) species of Vireyas (such as R. aurigeranum) are scented much.

    Fragrance is recessive in rhododendrons so this is more likely to have been a species although there certainly are some scented hybrids, especially those involving the tender species of the same group that R. dalhousiae belongs to - these can be wonderfully fragrant and often have large trumpet- or funnel-shaped flowers.

    Don't know if this particular one smells but it belongs to this group (click open link to 'Butterhorn' in list on left).

    http://www.rhodies.org/pictures/named flowers/named pic index.htm
     

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