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Leonardslee Rhododendrons 1926

Hybrids created by Sir E. Loder that have flowered since his death:-

Rh. Leonardslee Gem (Rh. Gauntletti x Rh.thomsonii) A very lovely hybrid, with rich red flowers of good size and substance. The leaves are large and well rounded. The original planter at Leonardslee and others of the same cross are all good, but none so fine as the named plant.

Rh. Snow Queen (Rh. Gauntletti x Rh. Loderi). This is, in my estimation, the finest pure white Rhododendron yet raised. It is an exceptional seedling out of the above-named cross. The flowers are nearly as large as Loderi, very thick and waxy and of a pure whiteness that even surpasses Rh. Duchess of Portland. Rh. Pink Queen (the same breeding) is nearly as good; the flowers are the same size and shape, but rich pink in colour. About thirty of these seedlings were distributed, and all are good, but the two named varieties are of outstanding merit. They flower in late May, and never get their growth cut.

Rh. Standishi x Rh. griffithianum. One or two examples of this cross have very large conical trusses of beautiful white flowers. The best example is at Leonardslee.

Rh.ochroleucum x Rh griffithianum x Rh. thomsonii. A charming Rhododendron with fine red-pink flowers.

Rh.Glory of Leonardslee x Rh.thomsonii. This will, I fancy, be one of the best of the Leonardslee hybrids when we see it exhibited. I flowered the first example in early May 1926, but unfortunately it was cut by frost the day after it opened,. However, I saw enough of it to estimate its high quality. It carried a large truss of waxy Thomsonii-like flowers nearly the size of those of Rh. Glory of Leonarsdlee. The plant is quite hardy and vigorous.

Although Sir Edmund raised many good hybrids, the foregoing embraces the pick of his successes. He achieved no outstanding hybrids amongst the dwarf or the large-leaved sections, and did not appreciate the Chinese species at their true value. In consequence, the collection at Leonardslee of the latter is only a small one, and he did not use them for hybridisation.

Considered as a whole, Sir Edmund Loder achieved a high percentage of successes by his efforts, and gardeners will always owe him a great debt for the series of splendid hybrids he has given us to enrich our gardens.

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