The end of summer! Much colder today and no sunshine - it had to end sometime.
Many of the tender scented rhododendrons belong in the maddenia or edgeworthia subsections, which are just a way of classifying the many species. In 1868 the Springfield Nursery of Upper Tooting, London, crossed Rh edgeworthii with Rh formosum var. formosum and produced the tender but fragrant hybrid which they called 'Fragrantissimum'. This rather straggly plant has been grown in glasshouses and conservatories for years, its mostly white flowers having traces of pink. More recently somebody carried out the cross again, probably with more colourful versions of those two species, and the result, ‘Fragrantissimum Improved’, is a better, less straggly and more colourful plant.
Not hardy everywhere, but OK in shelter on the west coast – and with stunning fragrance!