Will you have it scented?
No thanks, I'll take it with me!
This is one of my favourite rhododendrons and one that I propagated from a plant at Arduaine and brought with me.
Rhododendron edgeworthii was introduced into cultivation from Sikkim by Joseph Hooker in 1849 and it was named after Mr. M. P. Edgeworth, who was the Commissioner of Multan with the Bengal Civil Service.
Almost forty years later a similar species was found by Père Delavay in Yunnan, in China. This plant was given the name Rhododendron bullatum and introduced into cultivation by Scottish plant hunter George Forrest in 1904. It proved to be equally fragrant and beautiful but generally hardier than its Himalayan cousin. Although these two species have now been merged into Rh edgeworthii, the form previously known at Rh bullatum, which is the subject of my Blip, has the most wonderfully deeply veined or bullate foliage, the characteristic which gave the species its name. It’s a pity that this name is no longer valid.
The flowers are very spicily scented and vary from pure white, through lightly flushed pink, to heavily flushed pink. It’s reasonably hardy but being an epiphyte or a lithophyte in the wild, meaning that it grows on trees or rocks, it needs extremely sharp drainage, together, of course, with sufficient moisture.
An amazing plant if you can supply the right conditions. My extra shows a pink-flushed form of the original Rh edgeworthii type, growing outside at Branklyn in Perthshire.
That's the technical stuff over for the day!