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6873Re: [AZ] Re; R. occidentale in Northwestern Mexico

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  • William C. Miller III
    Jan 1, 2007

      Yes, it may well depend on who you ask.  I have only seen pictures.  I can see what you mean by the leaf, but I don't see it in the flower.  I don't think there is any question about it being a rhododendron.  The only question is --- is it considered an azalea?  I assume Galle considered it not to be an azalea or he would have included it in his book.  There are other small leafed rhododendrons that are often mistaken for azaleas e.g.,.  dauricum.

      I guess I'm influenced by the fact that Candidastrum isn't part of the commonly recognized azalea subg. e.g. Pentanthera and Tsutsusi on which my interest is chiefly focused. 

      Then too the other common name for Rhododendron albiflorum is the White rhododendron. 

      Happy New Year.

      Bill Miller
      Bethesda, Maryland

      Red Cavender wrote:

      Bill Miller posted the following:

      <Posted by: "William C. Miller III" bill@theazaleaworks .com   azaleabill

      <Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:53 pm (PST)


      <Perhaps Rhododendron albiflorum (commonly referred to as the Cascade
      <azalea) doesn't appear in Galle and elsewhere because it isn't an
      <azalea. That also would explain why occidentale is the only azalea west
      <of the Rocky Mountains.

      <Bill Miller
      <Bethesda, Maryland
      <www.theazaleaworks. com
      I guess that would depend on which authority you ask. Cox in Encyclopedia of Rhododendron Species lists R. albiflorum as the only member of the monotypic subgenus Canadidastrum. The Audubon Soc. Field guide to N.A. Wildflowers, Leach in Rhododendrons of the World, Pojar in Plants of the Pacific N.W. Coast, and 2 RHS publications, The Rhododendron Handbook 1980 and Index of Garden Plants all list it as a Rhododendron. The Western North American Species Project at http://www.wnarsp. org/ lists it with photos by Hank Helm. Their reference source is  The Rhododendron Handbook 1998; another RHS publication.
      I first saw it in the wild in the mid 60's and, in spite of being a relative novice with regards to Rhodies, easily identified it as a deciduous azalea by the foliage. While I don't know if a DNA study has been done, I think that R. albiflorum is generally considered to be a deciduous azalea. I know that it is difficult to grow in the garden even here in the N.W. and don't think it has been used as a parent as the flower is not much. However, I don't think that disqualifies it as an azalea.  I would be interested to know why you don't think it's an azalea. I would also be interested to know why Galle did not include R. albiflorum. I would take his word over that of Davidian.
      Happy New Year,
      Red Cavender,
      Sherwood, Oregon, zone 8

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