Seed List 2002-2003
   by M.J. Harvey

   Notes on the 2002-3 seeds

I used to date the seeds by the year in which they were sold – currently 2003 – now I’ve started using the year in which they were produced as well.  Too honest?

The Season

Despite the dry weather in 2002 the capsules were slow to ripen.  The R. bureavii flowered early but its capsules were not drying off naturally by the time I ripped them off the plant on December 5, ’02.  I had to ask to break the December 1st deadline for the ARS contributions.  Incidentally John Nicolella tells me the ARS Seed Exchange is in need of new contributors since some old-timers have retired.


Some pollinations yield abundant seeds, others zilch.  The latter is normally not reported – you just messed up.  However one failure over several years has annoyed me and last year I decided to investigate.  It concerns my failure to produce seed by self-pollinating my R.pachysanthum.  Seed of unusual species such as this is in great demand,.

Norman Todd mentioned that his pachysanthum was flowering and I obtained a flower.  Norm’s plant has silvery indumentum on the upper leaf surface; mine has golden so they are different genotypes, not the same clone produced from cuttings.  So I carried out a proper experiment carefully selfing one truss and cross pollinating another.  As I had come to suspect the cross-pollinated truss produced abundant seed (see the list), the selfed one none.  Once a scientist always a scientist.  I shall probably write this up for Journal ARS.

A possible other case of self-incompatibility is the R. augustinii subsp chasmanthum in Playfair Park.  Rather skinny capsules unripe in December seem to be producing very little seed.

        New Hybrids

Norm Todd unknowingly introduced a novelty in this year’s list – big leaf/little leaf hybrids.  After the annual Show he left behind a wonderful truss of R. rothschildii, which I stole.  Just to see what would happen I put its pollen on R. pachysanthum and degronianum subsp heptamerum ‘Enamoto’.  To my surprise a rather large quantity of seed resulted.  Of course the late Herman Vaartnou did some big leaf/little leaf crosses, most notable yak x rex, and these are doing well.  I haven’t heard of rothschildii being so used and the results should be quite interesting.

Good news this year is that we have some welcome new aims in hybridizing with Dean Goard contributing caloxanthum x forrestii made at Finnerty, and a more complex hybrid from Lloyd Gilmour, ‘Jeda’ x pachysanthum.  Lloyd tells me that ‘Jeda’ is a slow-growing prolific bloomer with double orange flowers and a double calyx.  It is a Lofthouse introduction made by crossing ‘Butterbrickle’ with ‘Great Expectations’, both of which have some ‘Lem’s Cameo’ in them.  In my own chosen field – seeking the perfect, weevil-free indumented bun for the front of the border – a new development is some bureavii hybrids, to wit bureavii x pachysanthum, bureavii x pseudochrysanthum and degronianum ‘Enamoto’ x bureavii.  These will all come out with wonderful orange indumentum including some on the upper leaf surface inherited from the bureavii.  In height terms the pachysanthum will contribute the most elevation with the other two being very compact indeed with dense foliage.

Last spring the Morrisons donated pollen of R. balfourianum and elegantulum.  Hybrids using these two closely related species are rare and I am eager to see how they turn out.

In other news, when I lived in Halifax, the late Johnny Meagher was a keen seedling raiser.  At Christmas his widow Jean sent me a lovely photograph of a seedling he had raised.  It is of a cross I made many years ago,

‘Grand Pre’ x ‘Elizabeth’.  The plant appears to be less than 2 ft. high and maybe 3 ft. across and covered in flowers.  ‘Grand Pre’ is a compact williamsianum hybrid in which catawbiense compactum was used at Kentville to give the hardiness necessary in the East.
2002 – 2003 Seed List
                            Abbreviations:  OP – open pollinated
                                                     HP – hand-pollinated
                                        Seed Sources                          OP Species
CD Carol Dancer 1. augustinii subsp chasmanthum PP
DG Dean Goard 2. dalhousiae rhabdotum CD
FIN Finnerty Gardens 3. degronianum hept. ‘Enamoto’ JH
JH Joe Harvey 4. (elegantulum) PP
LG Lloyd Gilmour 5. fictolacteum PP
PP 6. macrophyllum (deep pink) JH
7. makinoi (as “adenopodum”) FIN
8. pseudochrysanthum FIN
9. schlippenbachii FIN

HP Primary Hybrids

10. bureavii x pachysanthum 
11.     " x pseudochrysanthum
12. caloxanthum x forestii 
13. degronianum hept.‘Enamoto’  x bureavii 
14.     " x elegantulum
15.     " x pseudochrysanthum
16.     " x rothschildii 
17. degronianum yak  ‘Exbury’ x pachysanthum
18.         “                         “ x pseudochrysanthum
19. pachysanthum x balfourianum
20.         “  x degronianum hept. ‘Enamoto’
21.         “  x elegantulum
22.         “  x pachysanthum (Norm Todd) 
23.        “ x pseudochrysanthum
24.        “ x rothschildii

Complex Hybrids

25. ‘Jeda’ x pachysanthum
26. ‘Maxibra’ x macrophyllum 

Price:  $2.00 per packet

Contact M.J. Harvey at meetings or 5061 Sooke Road,  Victoria, BC  Canada,  V9C 4C3  ($2.00 P&P)

Postscript from Ken Webb
macabeanum(Webb) x macabeanum(Karen Morrison) donor code-KW.

Sowing Rhododendron Seed

Sow in a mixture of 1 part Perlite to 3 parts peat.  Cover seeds lightly with dried Sphagnum from a sieve.  Keep the seed moist by misting.  Use artificial light, not sunshine since they shrivel in heat.