Appreciation: Rhododendron 'Nancy Evans'

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by pmurphy, Apr 30, 2021.

  1. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor

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    Here are some photos of a little rhodo that I picked up at Art Knapps (PoCoq) back in 2013. A small shrub only reaching about 1.5 m it likes sun to light shade. I have this one planted in a west facing terraced area under a pink dogwood. The interesting thing about 'Nancy Evans' is that when the buds first appear they are red, and then gradually change to yellow as they open.

    These images were taken over 4 days starting on April 27th of this year, with the last taken this morning (April 30th).
     

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  2. davidrt28

    davidrt28 New Member

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    Yep, it's an 'oldie but a goodie'. Albeit not too old - it was new enough that it's not featured in the Cox's mid 1980s guide to hybrids. Probably one of the best yellows, and such a good looking plant too. In the rather vast but shabby Ilam Gardens of Christchurch, NZ, I thought that their 'Nancy Evans' was the best looking rhododendron in the whole garden...nevermind being the best yellow, too! Werner Brack's magnum opus 'Gotham Rheingold' is probably as good, or better...and is one of the last hybrids I intend to hunt down for my garden.

    It grows fine in the mid-Atlantic and probably all the way down the Gulf Coast if grafted onto something with R. hyperythrum like 'Charles Loomis'. Alas...although there are whole sections of nurseries in Australia - a country with a total population barely bigger than the NYC metro - that offer grafted Proteaceae...producing grafted Rhododendrons has proven too much of a challenge for the lazy US nursery-industrial complex. Glad that Kathy Van Veen made a few for me, including 'Nancy Evans' on CL, before her untimely passing.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    You david are trying to address a specific issue with grafting of rhododendrons, that is not present in more favorable climates - grafting was the standard method even here in the Pacific Northwest before growing from cuttings was figured out. So that there are still many plantings where rootstocks have been unwittingly allowed to sprout and grow up through scions over a period of decades. (Same as with grafted Japanese cherries and so on). Otherwise the "lazy" industry produces what it expects will sell, with production methods such as grafting of rhododendrons that cost significantly more being likely to price such items out of the range of what most end consumers are willing to pay. With garden center employees charged with ordering of stock usually being quick to stop asking for items that don't sell. Also 'Lem's Cameo' for instance used to be especially scarce and expensive because of very low takes; most cuttings would not root and the few that did had to pay for the cost of the entire batch being prepared and looked after. Mostly in futility. So that there were probably not a few growers who didn't bother with that variety just because of the inherent hassle and waste involved. To at best end up with a tiny amount of finished plants priced off the scale.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2022
    woodschmoe likes this.

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