Rhododendrons: McKee Rhodos (Abbotsford)

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by Julala, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. Julala

    Julala Member

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    Abbotsford, BC
    Hello all.
    I am currently researching an article about the threat of development and local initiatives surrounding the heritage Rhodos planted in Abbotsford by Dr. Jim McKee in the early 1900s. I am looking for any information on the following...

    -Was he the first to plant rhodos in the Fraser Valley?
    An article I have found (circa 1978) states that Dr. McKee gave the largest of his rhodo plants to Dr. Ethelyn Trapp of Vancouver for her garden which has become Kleenwyck Park on the west side of the Capilano River.
    -Are these Rhodos still protected in this park? What variety are they? Have they been catalogued?
    Unfortunately McKee did not catalogue or keep a record of his planting and I am also looking for any information on the varieties planted on the corner of Whatcom and 'McKee' (the very large tree-sized Rhodos that are threatened by development)

    I am writing this article for a local newsletter which focusses on historical, cultural and environmentally significant sites in the Abbotsford area. I am not a botanist, and welcome any information on the McKee Rhodos.
    Any and all information is greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!
  2. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Well-Known Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    Vancouver, Canada
    There are a number of people who might know about such things. You may be able to contact someone with knowledge of this through the local rhododendron club or the Vancouver Rhododendron Society (VRS). The VRS web site has a number of local links. Good luck.
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    If any of these are really that old it is to be hoped that can be saved.
  4. Chris Klapwijk

    Chris Klapwijk Active Member 10 Years

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    Black Ceek, B.C., Canada
    Some members of the Fraser South Rhododendron Society were instrumental in saving some of his plants, although attempts at identification in 1993 were only partially successful.

    Many were classified as 'oreodoxa types', several were from the triflora series - probably many yunnanese, a plant showing heavy fawn coloured indumentum was presumed to be a form of fictolacteum, and many looked to be ponticum hybrids.

    Some plants were moved to a private garden in the Chilliwack area where they remain to this day and from the cuttings we took at the time, we still have what is now a 2m (6') tall plant and it is probably a rubiginosum.

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