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Rhododendron of the Year Plant Awards: 2023


South East USA Region

R. 'Martha Player'

Elepidote Rhododendron: 'Martha Player'

Flower white with a prominent double flare of deep purplish red spots on the dorsal lobe, and a small green eye at the base, funnel-shaped, wavy-edged lobes, 3” across.  Ball-shaped truss has 20-26 flowers.  Blooms early midseason.  Leaves elliptic, broadly acute apex, cuneate base, de-curved margins, 4" long, semi-glossy, moderate olive green, retained 2 years.  Intermediate plant habit, heat tolerant.  Grows to a height of approximately 5 ft. in 10 years.  Hybridized by Player.

 
R. 'Weston's Aglo'

Lepidote Rhododendron: 'Weston's Aglo'

Flower moderate purplish pink with coppery red spotting, broadly funnel-shaped, wavy edges, 1" across.  Dome-shaped truss holds about 8 flowers.  Blooms early midseason.  Leaves elliptic, acute apex, cuneate base, 2" long, glossy, medium green, retained 1 year.  Plant has an open habit.  Sun tolerant.  Grows to about 3 ft. in 10 years.  Very cold hardy to -25F (-32C).  Hybridized by Mezitt.

 
R. 'Hilda Niblett'

Evergreen Azalea: 'Hilda Niblett'

Flower pale tints of strong pink to pale purplish pink, variously marked strong red, throat greenish white spotted deep pink or deep purplish red, broadly funnel-shaped, wavy edged, 3" across.  Blooms early midseason.  Leaves elliptic, about 1" long.  Spreading habit.  Grows approximately to 3 ft. tall in 10 years.  Cold hardy to -5F (-21C).  Hybridized by Gartrell.

 
R. 'Earl's Gold'

Deciduous Azalea: 'Earl's Gold'

Flower inside vivid yellow with a strong orange yellow blotch; outside tube moderate reddish orange. elongated tubular funnel-shaped, wavy-edged, 1" across, lightly scented.  Ball-shaped truss holds 16 flowers.  Blooms early season.  Leaves obovate, obtuse apex, cuneate base, down curved margins; dull, 3" long, strong yellow green, deciduous.  Open growth habit.  Shrub grows to approximately 6 ft. in 10 years.  Cold hardy to -5F (-21C).  Hybridized by Sommerville.

Photos (top to bottom): Lonnie Player, R. Wayne Mezitt, Boris Bauer, Earl Sommerville.

Prior Years Selections for South East USA Region

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004


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