Quality Trumps Prejudice

by Don Whittle - May 2000

At the March meeting of the Vancouver Island Rock & Alpine Garden Society, I encountered a fine display table, and to my mind the highlight was a very handsome pot of R.Megeratum. (Megeratum, identified in Greerís Guidebook as rare, is a dwarf yellow Rhododendron from China /Burma /India /Tibet where it grows at elevations between 8000 and 13000 feet reaching a maximum height of a little over 2.5 feet). To my surprise, the auditor didnít comment on this lovely plant when reviewing the table. I discussed this point with a confrere who is very knowledgeable about rhododendrons. He agreed that it was a fine plant but said that some Rock & Alpine specialists are Ďpuristsí and donít always consider rhododendron plants worthy candidates for the Rock garden. I expressed some surprise at this and noted that as an uncritical lover of rhododendron species, I couldnít believe that they didnít fit in everywhere. In any event, the matter in my mind was very satisfactorily resolved when I noted that the same plant had won a cup at the VIRAG Spring Show.