Sunday, 10 May 2009

Rhododendron 'Shilsonii'

barbatum x thomsonii

Flowers blood-red, foliage dark green, 4.5 x 2.75 ins
A tall shrub to 15 ft. or so. April.

From W. J. Bean (8th edition) Vol. III p.893
The cross was first made by Richard Gill while he was head gardener to Henry Shilson of Tremough, Cornwall, and received an Award of Merit when shown from there in 1900. The Gill cross had the reputation of being hard to grow well, but the cross was remade by Sir Edmund Loder at Leonardslee in Sussex, with better results, and probably in other gardens too. At any rate, what is now grown as 'Shilsonii' is a good grower, quite hardy, taking after R. thomsonii in its foliage and the form of its flowers, but the latter are of a purer red than in R. thomsonii.

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