The Victoria Rhododendron Society Newsletter

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The Victoria Rhododendron SocietyNewsletter4821 Townsend Drive, Victoria, BC V8Z 5P2Thirty-Ninth Year of Publicationhttp://victoriarhodo.caNovember 2019tkmcmillan@telus.netGeneral MeetingMONDAY, November 4, 2019 starts at 7:30Couvelier Pavilion at the HCP Gardens505 Quayle Road, VICTORIA, B. C.Lois Blackmore - SingaporeREFRESHMENTSIn This Issue Upcoming Events ------------------------- 2 President’s Remarks ---------------------- 3 Editor’s Notes ----------------------------- 4 Notices -------------------------------------- 5 ARS Annual Convention ----------------- 6 Polyploids Rhododendron ------------7-8 Joe’s Jottings --------------------------- 9-10 Board Members --------------------------10 Key Contributors -------------------------10byRobert Burke &Elizabeth GrantLynn CollicuttJan DammelCarol & Bill DancerHeather DickmanMeredith DickmanPLEASE EMAIL Betty Gordon atbbgordon@shaw.caor phone 250.479.0210 if you are comingwith your wrapped goodies or snacks.Coffee and tea are supplied. Assistancein setting out the food, milk, sugar andnapkins, and helping Betty with thecleanup is really appreciated.BRING YOUR OWN MUGPage 1

Upcoming Events2019Nov 47:30Nov 187:30Dec 26 pmJan 67:30Jan 20NoonFeb 37:30Feb 177:30Mar 97:30Mar 237:30Apr 67:30Apr 12TBAApr 207:30Apr 29May 3May 47:30May 10TBAMay 187:30EventGeneral Meeting - The CouvelierPavilionPropagation Group MeetingCall Ken Webb 250-744-1745Christmas Potluck DinnerGeneral Meeting - The CouvelierPavilionPropagation Group MeetingCall Ken Webb 250-744-1745General Meeting - The CouvelierPavilionPropagation Group MeetingCall Ken Webb 250-744-1745General Meeting - The CouvelierPavilionPropagation Group MeetingCall Ken Webb 250-744-1745General Meeting - The CouvelierPavilionPLANT SALEPropagation Group MeetingCall Ken Webb 250-744-1745ARS Annual Convention - 75thAnniversaryGeneral Meeting - The CouvelierPavilionPLANT SALEPropagation Group MeetingCall Ken Webb 250-744-1745Page 2PlaceGardens at HCP505 Quayle RoadTBAGardens at HCP505 Quayle RoadGardens at HCP505 Quayle RoadTBAGardens at HCP505 Quayle RoadTBAGardens at HCP505 Quayle RoadTBAGardens at HCP505 Quayle RoadTBATBAPortland,Vancouver, WAGardens at HCP505 Quayle RoadTBATBA

President’s Remarks, November 2019Put aside your extensive research into political platforms and party leader qualifications. It is time toconcentrate on all things rhododendron.Membership RenewalsThe leaves are colouring and falling – it must be Membership Renewal Time!Our annual fees for 2020 remain the same as the past few years: Full Membership (including ARS Journal)Local Membership (without the ARS Journal)Associate Membership (primary member of another ARS Chapter) 35.00 25.00 10.00I believe that most of our members are aware that the Victoria Rhododendron Society has been subsidizingthe actual cost of Full Membership for a number of years now. Within the past couple of years, the ARSincreased their annual membership fee to 40.00 USD. This is effectively 53.00 CAD, so that VicRSsubsidizes each full member by 18.00.At our last executive meeting, we did reluctantly agree that fiscal responsibility dictates the club reduce theamount of the membership subsidy.Membership fees for 2021 will be 45.00; however, this year we will all still get the full reduction.In addition, remember that all those renewing before November 30 will be eligible for a draw for freemembership next year – the ultimate subsidy: 100%!Soliciting for MembersAs you know, the Executive members are always seeking ways to increase public awareness of our club andwiden our appeal to new members. As part of this continuing out-reach program we will be awarding allgraduates of the Pacific Horticultural College a free Local Membership to the Victoria RhododendronSociety. On behalf of the club, Ian Duncan will be making the presentations of a membership card and acopy of both A Rhesplendence of Rhododendrons and The Complete Wit and Wisdom of Norman Todd atthe graduation ceremony in November.Gorge Park ReduxEsquimalt Parks have done more work on the VicRS/Barlup rhododendron garden at Gorge Park. They haveopened up further space closer to the Japanese Garden.Everybody is invited to a mini plant-in on Saturday, October 26, at 9:30. BYOS (Bring Your Own Shovel)The days cool and the rain falls. Time to get out there and move around all those things that youdiscovered in the summer that were apparently and shortsightedly planted in the wrong spot.Hope to see you at the November meeting, when our own Lois Blackwell will talk to us about what a visit toSingapore looks like. There will be plants, there will be culture, there will be colour and interest. Do come!Happy gardening Brenda MacdonaldPage 3

Editor’s Notesby Theresa McMillanLloyd gave us an up-close and personal presentation of the many challenges of a hybridizer. Decreasingproperty size, changing property cost and peoples’ preferences have greatly contributed to the specificfeatures he wants in his hybrids. The specific features are as follows: good leaf with indumentumsmall compact plantsfragrancelarge calyxcolourLloyd described some of the disappointments along the way. However the pursuit of developing a uniquerhodo can be rewarding. It only requires research and patience, patience, patience.Jedaxxsanguineum:sanguineum:JedaX Rubicon pollen,X Carmenpollen,XXCarmenEverred Pollen,X FiremanJeff pollen, XX Rubiconpollen,pollen,X EverredBlack Widow pollen,X Cherriesand JeffMerlotpollenXandthe Widowcross Wanna Bee XPollen,X Firemanpollen,Blackthe pictured plantpollen, X Cherries and Merlot pollen and thecross Wanna Bee X the pictured plantEditor’s Note– several years ago Billand I visited Stuart Holland’s large maturegarden in Oak Bay. He pointed out a largebig leafed rhododendron from theHimalayas that had taken 27 years to bloomand when it did, he disliked the flowers.(Party Orange x Parksville Sunset) scented white(PartyOrangex ParksvilleSunset)crossedwith Dexter'sPeppermintpollen x scentedself pollen xwhite(JedaDexter'sx R. sanguineumssp hemalum)crossed withPeppermintpollen x selfpollen x (Jeda x R. sanguineum ssp hemalum)Page 4

NOTICESPOTSFrom Lynne FerrieDo you need POTS?If you are in need of extra pots, Lynne Ferrie has an assortment of them in her carport and she can evendrop off pots if needs be. Contact Lynne Ferrie - 250-478-1100R. PINK PEARLFrom Dean GourdPink PearlDean Goard is looking for this rhodo for a neighbour. If you can help Dean in his quest, please contacthim at deangoar@telus.net.Thank you to Steve Henning and his website http://rhodyman.net/rhodynsh.php#anchorSRfor the following:Hybrid Rhododendrons for Shade Black Satin (PJM)Boule de NeigeBow BellsDesmit (PJM)Elite (PJM)Elviira Henry's Red (PJM)King GeorgeLow Red Frilled (PJM)Molly Fordham (PJM)Nova ZemblaOlga Mezzitt (PJM) RamapoRed RiverRegal (PJM)SnowladyVictor (PJM)Weston's Pink Diamond (PJM)Rhododendron Species for Shade Rhododendron catawbienseRhododendron minusRhododendron calendulaceum Page 5Rhododendron canescensRhododendron kiusianumRhododendron schlippenbachii

April 29-May 3, 2020, Hosted by ARS District 4Heathman Lodge, Vancouver, WA.20/20 Vision international speakers to include: Kenneth Cox from Glendoick in ScotlandLionel de Rothschild from Exbury in EnglandJens Nielsen, plant explorer from DenmarkSteve Krebs and Juliana Medeiros from the Holden ArboretumSteve Hootman from the Rhododendron Species Botanical GardenValerie Soza from the University of Washingtonand more.Garden tours to include: Crystal Springs Botanical GardenCecil & Molly Smith GardenPortland Japanese GardenLan Su Chinese GardenIseli NurseryWoodburn NurseryThe Stewart Garden (formerly Dover Nursery)Sebright GardensPlant sale, photo contest, poster session, special clinics, plus:Around the Sound pre-tourWillamette Valley and Oregon Coast Excursion post-tourars75.orgRegistration opens December 2, 2019Page 6

POLYPLOID RHODODENRONS IN JOSSELIN FRANCEBy Lois BlackmoreMarc Colombel has been working with polyploid rhododendron plants for several years. He began collecting cuttingswhen hybridizers from the US and England sent him cuttings of plants that had been Identified by the University of Cumbria inPortugal as true polyploids. Polyploid rhododendrons are plants that have more than two sets of chromosomes in their cells,resulting in bigger and longer lasting flowers. His project is safeguarding the first polyploids discovered in England and the US.Polyploidy has been known to exist since the mid 1950’s. Marc's goal is to establish a genetic bank for future research.The Rhododendron Conservatory is in the French community of Josselin. Josselin is located in the Morbihan District ofBrittany in northwestern France. Josselin has preserved its heritage and is known for its medieval houses and fortress typecastle. It is this municipality that accepted the gifts of polyploid rhododendrons. Through his friendship with Christian Hays,they convinced the Mayor of Josselin, Joseph Seveno, that such a project would be feasible and would add to the beauty ofthe city.Following the delivery of many donations from Marc, who started collecting in 2011, a date was set for “The inauguration ofthe Conservatoire des Rhododendrons Polyploids”. His goal of establishing a gene pool for other hybridizers and scientists toexplore and study polyploidy in rhododendrons was now becoming a reality.(Continued on page 8)Page 7

(Continued from page 7)The display pays honour to the first missionaries who discovered the genus rhododendron in their mission to bringChristianity to the native peoples of Asia and India. This display is called Ancient Explorers. The early pioneers are honouredas well as true rhododendron plant hunters. The other displays are categorized under Modern Hybridizers.On May 3, 2014, the official opening of the “Conservatoire des rhododendrons polyploides” took place.Special guests included Christian Hays, Alain Hivert and Joseph Seveno, mayor of Josselin. A welcomed and special guestincluded Mr. Josselin de Rohan, owner of the castle and owner of the rhododendron “Chateau de Rosselin, created by Marcin 2006.Page 8

Joe’s Jottings, miscellaneous thoughts from a life with plantsBy Joe Harvey#1: The Big Bang Tree – The Mount Etna BroomIf you want a bombproof tree, including having gobbets ofhot lava thrown in its direction, this is the tree for you! TheMount Etna Broom grows on the flanks of its namesakevolcano as well as elsewhere in Sicily and also on Sardinia.Even away from the most active volcano in Europe, Sicily ishot and dry in the summer but once this tree gets its rootsdeep enough, it becomes drought proof.I only noticed the 20ft specimen on my street because adelightful gardenia-like scent followed me for half a block.This was in July and, looking up, I could see the mass of brightyellow flowers overtopping the other bushes and trees. Ithad been planted years ago when gardener Liz Keays livedthere.Let me put to rest one possible problem: the word ‘broom’. Itmay have been causing you heart palpitations but no, this isnot a major pest-in-the-making like Scotch broom introducedin Sooke in 1850 by Captain Walter Colquhoun Grant and nowEtna broom tree growing on Mount Etna (recenta problem all the way to California. Scotch broom is Cytisuslarva flow visible above and right of tree)scoparius. Mount Etna broom is a Genista, - G. aetnensis, theSept 27, 2007 - Author : Velelaspecies name derived from the Latin for Mount Etna. It doesnot spread by seed in Victoria except deliberately by human hand.Another Genista, dyers’ greenweed, is famous for supplying a surname when Geoffrey of Anjou pluckeda sprig in the 1170’s, stuck it into his hat and thence became known as Geoffrey Plantagenet, from‘Planta genista’. His son, Henry, II started the Plantagenet dynasty in England, which ended withRichard III looking for a horse, any horse apparently, on Bosworth Field, thus ending the Middle Agesand giving Shakespeare the opportunity to write a scurrilous play about him. Dyers’ greenweed doeswell in Victoria, but grows only inches high as a spreading evergreen with yellow flowers in late spring.The advantages of Mount Etna broom are many. It can grow in really barren, sandy or rocky dry soils;the only thing it dislikes is wet waterlogged site. There are no leaves to sweep up since photosynthesisis taken over by the green twigs, which, in turn, cast only a light shade permitting under planting withbulbs or perennials.Now I mentioned that the particular specimen I saw was about 20 ft. tall. Maybe you don’t have thespace for a tall tree (it is old), so just pretend you are providing accommodation like infamous hotelierProcrustes, swing that axe and make your tree fit your bed – it will love you. Genistas adapt well topruning.I should mention that the flowering period fills the gap following spring when few trees blossom.Depending on the season, flowering begins in late June, continues all July and ends sometime inAugust ,depending on the heat. And did I mention that the roots fix nitrogen? This tree has everything(Continued on page 10)Page 9

(Continued from page 9)The Big Bang Tree – The Mount Etna Broom- cont’dgoing for it. So why is it rare?Human FoiblesThe problem is with humans. You see, we like to see plants in flower before we buy them – but we don’tshop for plants in July – so we don’t see it in flower – so we don’t buy it – so nurseries don’t stock itbecause there is no demand. The circle is complete. Specialist nurseries stock plants and the owners of thelocal tree have said I may collect seed when it is ripe. If I get any, I shall bring it into meetings in the fall.Get some-don’t put it off, Mount Baker is classified as an active volcano; it may blow any day.VICTORIA RHODODENDRONSOCIETY BOARDKEY CONTRIBUTORSAudio & Video Equipment &HCP Meeting Room StewardIan Duncan 250-479-0820Robert BurkePresidentBrenda Macdonald 778-528-3647R. ‘Lois Blackmore’victoriarhododendron@gmail.comVice PresidentLloyd Gilmore 250-642-2256MembershipBrenda Macdonald 778-528-3647Carrie George 250-642-3176Past PresidentLois Blackmore 250-478-6615Newsletter CommitteeTheresa McMillan, Editor 250-478-3515Joyce Whittle 250-656-7313Linda Gilmore, Production 250-642-2256Madeleine Webb 250-744-1785Bill McMillan 250-478-3515TreasurerBill Gordon 250-479-0210Secretary:Sharon Joseph 250-383-1756Refreshments OrganizerBetty Gordon 250-479-0210Members-at-LargeCarolyn Marquardt 250-477-8387Carrie George 250-642-3176Ian Duncan 250-479-0820Lynne Ferrie 250-478-1100Theresa McMillan 250-478-3515WebsiteCalvin Parsons 250-590-0489http://victoriarhodo.caPage 10

Steve Hootman from the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden Valerie Soza from the University of Washington and more. Garden tours to include: Crystal Springs Botanical Garden Cecil & Molly Smith Garden Portland Japanese Garden Lan Su Chine

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